Eighty-nine golfers will have their sights set on Merion on Thursday when Beaufort's Secession Golf Club hosts one of the 111 local qualifiers for the 2013 U.S. Open.
This year's Open will be held June 13 to June 16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
More than a third of the golfers at Secession have some tie to Beaufort County. Prominent golfers with area ties include:
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Local qualifiers are 18 holes, with several players, depending on the size of the field, advancing to sectional qualifying, where they will compete for a spot in the 156-player U.S. Open field.
Two players -- Ken Venturi in 1964 and Orville Moody in 1969 -- beat the odds and won the U.S. Open after surviving local and sectional qualifying.
HILTON HEAD'S MILES WINS IJGT'S BEAR CREEK EVENT
Hilton Head Island resident and former Hilton Head Christian Academy golfer Will Miles beat Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy student and Bluffton resident Charlie Spencer-White by six strokes to win the Boys 15-19 division of the International Junior Golf Tour's AHEAD Open last weekend at Bear Creek Golf Club on Hilton Head Island.
Miles overcame tough playing conditions to put together a consistent opening round of even-par 72, buoyed by 15 pars and two birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Miles' ability to control his speed on the fast greens and his solid ball striking in the wind vaulted him to the victory.
In the second round, Miles recorded 14 pars and one birdie leading to a 3-over-par 75. Of the 36 holes Miles played, 29 were pars while adding in three birdies. He played all of the par 3s in 1-over-par, all of the par 4s in 1-over-par, and all of the par 5s in 1-over-par as well.
In the Boys Under 14 division, Alejandro Santibanez, a full-time Hank Haney IJGA student, posted 76 and 80 to beat Christian Garruppo by eight strokes. Clementina Rodriquez, a student at Hank Haney IJGA, won the Girls Under 19 division, shooting 76 and 73 to beat classmate Phimnipha Wongwaiwate by five strokes.