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Monday
Jun022014

2014 U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying Day Is Here!

One of golf’s great days is here, aka Golf’s Longest Day when a network was crazy enough to televise it at a big loss under the belief that the non-profit USGA appreciated their partners for things other than cold, hard cash.

Therefore, the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying returns to its dark place of page refreshes, late night articles and skimpy photo galleries for that always-gratifying day introducing us to the talented people who qualify for the most democratic major.

The USGA has a page devoted to the storylines, and there are some doozies. There are also preview stories for each sectional that will take you to a devotional page including a link to scoring pages as the numbers are posted.

There is also this page including all of the qualifiers. And this Road to the Sectionals primer.

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Reader Comments (58)

Was it last year that Golf Channel did marathon coverage of the qualifying? Nothng this year wonder why, too expensive, not enough interest? Seemed a worthwhile undertaking, more than another deification (Payne).
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedia driven
@media driven

I was thinking the exact same thing. They claimed it to be "Golf longest day" I believe last year and now nothing this year but probably studio updates. Bummer for golf fans :(
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Man you all need to work on reading between the lines on Geoff's post
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterElf
The USGA also has a dashboard with links to scoring for all 10 sectional qualifying sites: http://www.usopen.com/en_US/news/qualifying/dashboard.html
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBK74
Is Fox doing live cut-ins between reruns of Judge Judy and Maury?
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCheeks
@Elf

I guess I can catch up on all the past airings of The Big Break.....YAWN!!!!
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterViz
I enjoyed the coverage last year, but Geoff spells it out for us as to why we won't be seeing it again.

Some interesting names as always at each location. For us golf nerds there are so many "Oh yea. I wonder what the hell he has been up to?" for us. I saw Duffy Waldorf's name at one of the sites. Hope he packs 2 outfits so that he can change after the first 18 when he sweats through it! Does he still wear those awful Tommy Bahama shirts?
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterChicago John
Maggert goes -6 on his first 9 of the day in Memphis! http://www.usopen.com/en_US/news/qualifying/sectional/r_201304171366227862405.html

The North course is pretty short, but that's still ridiculous. The South course is sight of Al Geiberger's 59. I have played it and it is long and very difficult (for someone of my skill level, a 10 cap).
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterChicago John
The deal last year may have been overkill, but they just dropped the whole thing, in the same style the release on air talent.

A few 10 minute ''updates'' from all the locations would seem to be a balance, IMO
06.2.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Always a "good story" day for the USGA, usually all forgotten come the weekend of the championship.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
Big Break re-airs cost nothing. Getting cameras to sites is expensive. And since the USGA cut a deal with Fox, rather than partner NBC, golf channel isn't interested in spending a fortune for no return. Maybe FS1 will pick it up next year
06.2.2014 | Unregistered Commenterelf
I think it is hard to blame GC for not dumping money into a dead hole here. Last year was cool - but at this point last year they were trying to win the bid.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
@elf


It was a joke bud! My point was that I'd much rather watch what they did last year on this day than watch any season of The Big Miss/Break.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Geiff,

Do you really think GC/NBC would do what they did last year purely out of an interest in pleasing the USGA? And this year they'd rather not participate in the biggest golf event of the week because their feeling are hurt? Think they'll even bother going to Pinehurst?

Seems more logical, although admittedly less dramatic, that they tried last year in an effort to make money and were not able to and made the decision on financial terms rather than emotional...no?
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJS
Yeah, that was back in the days when The Golf Channel actually covered golf. NBC has ruined what used to be a decent network.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJ.A. Animal
@ JS - I think they did it last year because they thought it would help them retain the U.S Open, and so losing some money on it would pay off on the back end there. No way they make money on it in any scenario - it is during the day during the week, viewership has to be slim. But now that the USGA is leaving, why go the extra mile ? I know the viewership liked it, and I agree with Digs above that they could have made some efforts beyond some coverage this evening.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
I would think The Golf Channel would have an interest in maintaining as good a relationship with the USGA as possible, given their position as the only golf network around.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Wow, I get off a plane and I see both the Severely Naive and the Don't Bother To Look At Embedded Links Opens have broken out.

Forget I mentioned it. Go back to refreshing those USGA links!
06.2.2014 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Geoff,

Let's put it this way, if I'm naive because I doubt the Golf Channel would cover the event last year simply to sway favor with the USGA and not this year purely out of revenge then they are more poorly run then I could have guessed.

This is a really cool day for golf fans and it makes sense for the Golf Channel to cover it as extensively as financials allow...do you disagree?
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJS
http://www.usopen.com/en_US/news/qualifying/sectional/r_201304171366227862405.html

Open up Jason Gandy's scorecard -- he's lighting it up (currently 5 straight aces to start his second round)!
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
@ Carl Is he kin to any royalty in North Korea?
@ Carl

A similar glitch has John Merrick in Memphis making an 8 on every hole after shooting even par on his first 18. So much for those results!
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterChicago John
JS,
Naive might have been the wrong word. You're wasting my time, but I'm going to try and look up the rating for last year's Golf's Longest Day, compare it to some re-runs of movies on Monday nights, and show you that the audience size wasn't there. At all. That doesn't mean it wasn't worthy, but if the USGA is going to take it's act to Fox and the sponsors aren't there, why would that be stupid to pass on covering it?

Of course, the USGA could have been the sponsor and bought the ad time. Lord knows they've got the promos to spare.
06.2.2014 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Can I hope that Joe Ogilvie is really shooting a much worse score (please)?
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Geoff,

I don't need you to waste your time, I'm sure the rating were really low...if they can't figure out how to make money on this day and choose instead to show...well whatever it is they would show...then that would say enough wouldn't it?


"but if the USGA is going to take it's act to Fox and the sponsors aren't there, why would that be stupid to pass on covering it?"

Because they're The Golf Channel and they have the option to show golf or not...
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJS
Family and friends of the contestants, members of the courses which hosted the qualifying rounds, and the 19 guys who provide regular commentary on this blog site probably made up the large majority of the audience for last year's US Open SQR broadcast. A money pit for The Golf Channel.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDubious
JS,
So you agree the rating is low but you blame them for not figuring out how to make money from the day to cover the cost of covering a dozen sites across the country? Oy. Oh, and for an organization that is ending their partnership? Neither entity is a charity, but at least the Golf Channel makes clear they are a member of a for profit cooperation.
06.2.2014 | Registered CommenterGeoff
And once again, a bunch of losers WDing because they shoot a fairly bad first round. I really wish the USGA would ban them for a year for doing this. Its a disgrace to the volunteers, the paying spectators and to the field.

And yes it happens in USA qualifying as well as the British one. (although the British one tends to get a lot more)
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterM
I'm sure I can find this out through google searching but I'll throw it up here instead:

What does it take to play in one of these qualifiers? Is there a pre-qualifier? Handicap cutoff? Can anybody just pay and play with Jeff Maggert?
"Golf's Longest Day" was nothing more than a made-for-TV creation that appealed to group of "whatever happened to?" trivia experts, a handful of entrant's family members and every Golf Channel stringer desperate for more air time.. A rating bonanza it was not -- ESPECIALLY when the expense of planting live cameras at a dozen sites is factored in. Look, just Because It's Golf doesn't mean that the network is required to carve out space for a day-long broadcast marathon.... no matter how much a few 'golf nerds' soaked it up. I'm in that category but at the end of the day, learning that the 1996 runner-up of the Quad Metro Foreign Car Classic made it into the U.S. Open field emits nothing more than an not-so-excited... "meh."
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
Nickel version: Anyone with a 1.4 handicap or less can try to qualify locally. And yes, it is possible to get paired up at a local qualifier with non-exempt PGA pros in the local qualifier. Each local qualifier then has a number of spots that pass you on to the sectional qualifiers (which is today) if you are in the top finishers locally. Some players are exempt to the sectionals so not all of them play local qualifiers. Local qualifying is a good event to go watch if there is one nearby.

On the comment above by M, do the spectators have to pay at the sectional qualifiers? You certainly don't at any of the local qualifiers that I have attended.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
Lee Janzen. Wow, that name popped out. Won two U.S. Opens. Hasn't turned 50 just yet (age 49). Whatever happened to that guy? Seems like he fell off the face of the planet this entire century. He had a sweet swing back when he was ballin'.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMIA
NYG, not sure if your question was a joke but yes, have to get through local qualifying first, about five per site, and obviously handicap has to be close to 2 and under I believe. Guys who struggle at LOCAL are supposed to be monitored for future entries if they score above a certain number--unless they have a legitimate reason.


Looks like bad news for good guys Brad Fritsch and Jason Gore. Neat to see some of the names at Sectional sites. USGA did a decent job as I followed all day and updates in second round were done after each hole. Missed GC coverage on Golf Central. Anything??? I thought last year was really captivating to watch.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Geoff,

Let's not get delirious...you're trying to switch positions with me. Your initial post suggested it was personal and I said it was more logical that the money didn't make sense.

You suggested that GC went to the lengths they did last year purely for the benefit of their partnership with the USGA knowing it would be a "big loss". You also implied that they didn't cover it this year at least in part because the USGA had moved on from GC parent NBC for its Championships.

My position is simple, if the Golf Channel can't figure out (and apparently doesn't want to try) how to make money or at least bolster its brand on a day like today then they are toast.

For what it's worth, what did they show from about 4 - 8 EST today? I didn't get in front of the TV for a minute...
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJS
I haven't turned GC on yet today either so not sure what type of coverage Sectional play got, but how hard, or expensive is it to get a local NBC affiliate guy (who would probably die for the opportunity) to go to each site and do a wrap up, similar to last year. Yes, probably wouldn't have Gavin Hall chipping in with the sun going down, but it is cool to see a few interviews from "no-names" who made it and are headed to #2 for the experience of a lifetime? Again, maybe GC did send a few guys. By the way, I just had a vision of Mike Ritz. What ever happened to that guy??? Remember seeing him at The Homestead covering the US Mid Am smoking a big stogie. Real character.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKPK
Only one half-hearted post dealing with the death-penalty crime of WD'ing...you guys are slipping!

Left it in the heart, 2 inches short, on the last hole. Dang it. Couple of ams got thru my site in Memphis today, very impressive rounds by those guys. Kudos.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Fritsch
Thanks for the info! I was confused by the fact that a bunch of the big name guys are exempt from the local qualifying. Makes sense.
"Only one half-hearted post dealing with the death-penalty crime of WD'ing...you guys are slipping!"

Good one ;) Had a similar thought but figured I'd let the sleeping.... Keep grinding.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
If it made money, they'd cover it. Period. It's good, catty fun to take the tack that it was personal, but that's not how it works in the real world.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor
@Brad -

Was rooting for you to make it through! Very classy response from you, but I think everyone here expects that.

I think the pros/coms of the WD in the second round of sectionals was covered last year, yes? Doubt if anyone has changed his/her mind on the issue.
06.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ

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