Columbus, Ohio – Brandt Jobe began the season just trying to make enough cuts to qualify for his PGA Tour pension. Now he’s on a roll and heading to his first U.S. Open since 2008.
After tying for second Sunday in the Memorial Tournament with a 69-65 weekend, Jobe caught five hours of sleep and then earned co-medalist honors with fellow tour player Chez Reavie, the 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, in a 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday at Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club.
Jobe, 45, of Southlake, Texas, fired a morning 10-under- par 62 at The Lakes and then survived sweltering afternoon temperatures with a 2-under 70 at Brookside. Reavie shot an afternoon 63 on the “easier” test at The Lakes and will play for the first time in the Open as a professional after two appearances as an amateur.
The pair led a group of 16 players who qualified for next week’s U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
Among the notables who advanced included amateur Patrick Cantlay, a freshman at UCLA who won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top collegiate player in Division I. Cantlay, a semifinalist in the 2010 U.S. Amateur who visited Muirfield Village Golf Club and met Nicklaus on Sunday, shot 65-70 in the largest of 11 U.S. sectional qualifiers and one populated mostly by PGA Tour players.
Veteran Steve Jones fell short at the two sites in which he qualified for the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills near Detroit. He went on to win that championship in a duel over Tom Lehman and Davis Love III.
Also falling short were former British Open champions David Duval and Ben Curtis, and former Masters champ Mike Weir. Duval, the 1989 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, was runner-up two years ago at Bethpage Black.
Ricky Barnes, who also tied for second at Bethpage, withdrew after 27 holes. So did 2008 Open runner-up Rocco Mediate. Vijay Singh was a no-show one year after receiving a special exemption to last year’s championship at Pebble Beach. Singh’s streak of 67 major starts in a row will end next week.
Jobe said he was running out of gas after blitzing the Lakes for eight birdies and an eagle. Fortunately, he didn’t need another low score.
“After yesterday [at the Memorial], the hard thing about that is there's so much energy in the playing … the crowds, and doing well and having a chance. That's what drains you,” said Jobe, who has played the last six weeks on tour. “It's not the physical part of it, it's the mental parts. Then you get out here and the one thing about playing these qualifiers you've just got to be mentally tough. That's what it is. I was mentally dead on that last nine holes, especially, but I pulled it together and birdied a few coming in.”
Added Reavie, a 30-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., who is still recovering from knee surgery last year: “I was hitting the ball well, I was making putts. It was fun — a lot of fun.”
Robert Garrigus of Scottsdale, Ariz., could have joined Jobe and Reavie at the top if not for a scorecard error. He shot a morning 6-under 66 at Brookside, but signed for a 67. His scorecard included a 4 on the par-3 17th when he actually had made a 3.
Another 66, which he did sign for correctly at The Lakes, got him in comfortably, however, at 133.
"I'm just relieved to have made it through and it didn't matter," Garrigus said. "I'm playing really well right now, actually, so it turned out all right."
The final three spots were determined in a playoff among six players who finished at 7-under 137. Scott Hend, Tim Petrovic and Webb Simpson birdied the third playoff hole to earn their tickets to Congressional.
More sectional notes: Sergio Garcia changed his mind about sectional qualifying and advanced to the U.S. Open via a playoff at Tunica (Miss.) National, where 10 spots were available. The Spaniard, who had fallen to No. 75 in the Official World Golf Ranking, had previously said he would not endure the qualifying process. He will extend his major-championship appearances to 47 at Congressional…Sam Saunders, the grandson of 1960 U.S. Open champion Arnold Palmer, earned one of three available spots at a qualifier in Vero Beach, Fla…Fred Funk, the former golf coach at the University of Maryland, earned one of 10 spots at the Rockville, Md., site. The 55-year-old will be the oldest player in the U.S. Open field…Beau Hossler, a 16-year-old from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., will be the youngest contestant. He earned one of five spots at Oakmont C.C. in Glendale, Calif…Also qualifying in California was amateur Steven Irwin of Arvada, Colo., the son of five-time USGA champion Hale Irwin...Brad Benjamin, the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, garnered one of three spots in St. Charles, Ill. Benjamin has remained an amateur with the hope of earning a spot on the 2011 USA Walker Cup Team…Russell Henley, who shared low-amateur honors at the 2010 U.S. Open, also qualified, winning a playoff over Jason Dufner for the third and final spot in Ball Ground, Ga…Scott Langley, who shared low-amateur honors in 2010, failed to qualify in St. Charles…Amateur William Cauley, a member of the 2009 USA Walker Cup Team, was the medalist at Tunica (Miss.) National just outside of Memphis.
Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer who contributes frequently to USGA websites.