by David Shefter USGA
You know how you feel after spending 24 straight hours cramming for a final? That's exactly my state of mind after completing the remaining bios of the 84 sectional qualifiers into the 2008 U.S. Open. Fortunately, I did get a head start with the 72 fully exempt players and then the two qualifiers from the Japan sectional on Memorial Day. That left me with 82 players to dissect following Monday's 36-hole marathons. Finding information on PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and European Tour golfers isn't too hard. We have media guides and Internet sites to gather all the necessary info. But try finding information on club pros and mini-tour guys. It's not easy. But we hopefully have gathered enough stuff for the general public to digest just in case one of these unknowns has a great round and sends everyone scurrying to find golden nuggets.
This year's field is no different than previous Opens. You have superstars (Tiger, Phil, Sergio, et al), up-and-comers (Anthony Kim, Oliver Wilson, Sean O'Hair, Jeff Quinney, et al), amateurs (Michael Thompson, Kevin Tway, Nick Taylor, Kyle Stanley, et al) and complete unknowns (Brian Bergstol, Jeffrey Bors, Chris Devlin, et al).
And once you start researching the field you do discover interesting tidbits. We have two players from the same high school (Jordan Cox and Garrett Chaussard). Brian Kortan wears a heart monitor under his shirt because he suffered a heart attack a few years ago. Jason Gore, the "Prince of Pinehurt" for his Cinderella performance in 2005, has been dealing with something called Hashimoto's disease, the most common form of hyperthyroidism. Gore's immune system was attacking his thyroid, chewing it up and throwing his endochrine system out of whack. He's been able to control it recently with medication, but he has not made a cut in his last eight starts. Maybe the Open will kick-start his 2008 season again. Jeffrey Bors has a pretty good gig. He's an assistant pro at both Seminole (winter) and Shinnecock Hills (summer). Kevin Silva is not related to golf course architect Brian Silva, but he might deal with that question at Torrey Pines.
NCAA Division III schools (non-scholarship) are even represented by Bors (John Carroll) and Brian Bergstol (Moravian).
There seems to be quite a few former University of New Mexico guys in the field. Kortan, Jay Choi, D.J. Brigman and Michael Letzig are all former Lobos. Somehow Tim Herron, perhaps one of the best UNM golf alums, did not make the field.
And bear with us, we will try to get photos of every player in the field. We're in the process of compiling images and plan to get those up as soon as possible. Thanks for being patient.