Brian Stuard qualifies for U.S. Open, his 10th major-championship appearance
They call it the "Longest Day in Golf."
For Brian Stuard, it was well worth his time.
Stuard, the Jackson native and Oakland University alumnus, qualified Monday for next week's U.S. Open, finishing fourth in his 36-hole sectional at Springfield Country Club in Ohio. Stuard earned one of the seven spots up for grabs in the 77-player field, at 5 under with rounds of 69 and 66.
The U.S. Open, to take place at Torrey Pines in San Diego from June 17-20, will mark Stuard's 10th appearance in a major championship, and sixth in a U.S. Open. He has made one cut in the U.S. Open, in his last appearance, tying for 65th in 2019.
Stuard, 38, is in his 10th year on the PGA Tour, on which he's won once but has been a consistent check-casher. He's played 25 events this season, making 14 cuts and more than $750,000. His best finish was a tie for third in the season-opening Safeway Open.
The U.S. Open will be a lead-in for Stuard's third appearance in his home-state Rocket Mortgage Classic, set for July 1-4 at Detroit Golf Club. With friends and family following along in 2019, the inaugural Rocket, Stuard tied for fifth; he then tied for 30th last year, when there were no fans because of the pandemic.
Also in the Springfield qualifier, Traverse City's Ryan Brehm lost out on a spot in a playoff but will be an alternate for the U.S. Open should somebody drop out. Former Michigan assistant golf coach Patrick Wilkes-Krier was 2 under, a shot out of the playoff.
In the biggest sectional qualifier, at Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, several Michigan men participated, but none qualified. Caledonia's Ben Cook, who has played in three straight PGA Championships and was the low club pro at this year's PGA, came closest, finishing at 4 under, two strokes out of a playoff. He tied with 2019 Rocket champion Nate Lashley.
The defending U.S. Open champion is Bryson DeChambeau, also the defending Rocket champion. He was in Detroit on Monday for Rocket media day.
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