Joy (Marc Turnesa) and agony (Aaron Dexheimer)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Staying to cover the US Open sectional in Columbus was probably one of the better decisions I’ve made in a while. Besides the final round of PGA Tour Q-school, it was probably the most fascinating and interesting event I’ve covered in golf. What about the final round of the Masters? The US Open? The British Open? Or even the PGA Championship? Sure, those are exciting, but qualifiers and majors/regular tournaments should be classified separately.
I think it’s the once-a-year do-or-die format of qualifiers that I find so compelling. And for the hundreds gathered at about a dozen venues across the country, they’re playing for the remaining sixty-something spots in the US Open — just a place in the field, no guaranteed money. Yet, the results elicit the same, if not heightened, emotions of raw elation or anguish.