Headed to Oakmont: Mueller Plays Way into U.S. Open Field
Written By: email@example.com
June 6, 2016
• Sectional Results | U.S. Open Site
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- University of Michigan men's golfer Kyle Mueller qualified for the 2016 U.S. Open by shooting a five-under 135 total today (Monday, June 6) in the 36-hole sectional qualifier held at Springfield Country Club. He was the medalist runner-up and earned one of the site's four qualifying spots.
One of four professional golf majors, the U.S. Open will be held at the Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, Monday through Sunday, June 13-19. Mueller will compete as an amateur.
"I played great all day," said Mueller. "It's the best my game has felt since the end of the fall season. I drove the ball and putted really well. My course management and having Chris (O'Neill) on the bag is what made the difference. We put the ball in right spots, and that's exactly what you had to do on this golf course. It still doesn't feel real. I played great today, but there are still areas of my game that I can improve on to get ready for the Open."
Joining Mueller, who shot rounds of 68 (-2) and 67 (-3), are medalist and current Illinois golfer Nick Hardy (70-64/134, -6), former Ball State golfer Patrick Wilkes-Krier (66-69/135, -5), and Illinois golfer Charlie Danielson (69-70/139, -1), who defeated professional golfer and former Golf Channel Big Break contestant Tony Finau (70-69/139, -1) on the first hole of a playoff for the final spot.
Mueller's teammate Tom Swanson was also at the sectional qualifier in Springfield and tied for 32nd (147). Both Wolverines advanced to the sectional after Swanson won the local qualifier May 10 at Weymouth Country Club in Medina, Ohio, with a 66, while Mueller earned one of seven advancing spots with a 71.
Mueller led the Wolverines in five events during the 2015-16 season and earned All-Big Ten first team as well as All-Big Ten Tournament honors following his third-place finish at the conference championship.
With his 71.72 per-round average, he became the first Wolverine in history to finish a season with an average below 72. Mueller led U-M with 13 sub-par rounds, including a U-M record-tying 64 (-7) in the second round of the MacKenzie (Oct. 12-13). He recently was awarded his second straight PING All-Midwest regional team selection.
In his recent USGA play last summer, Mueller advanced to the round of 16 at the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship played Aug. 17-23at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
The last Wolverine to play in the U.S. Open was current PGA Tour player Justin Hicks, who played in his fifth U.S. Open in 2013.