U.S. Open Final Qualifying

Former Golden resident Andrew Svoboda qualifies for his first U.S. Open in a decade; he’ll join the exempt Wyndham Clark in the field at L.A. Country Club

By Gary Baines – 6/5/2023

More than two dozen golfers with significant Colorado ties competed in “Golf’s Longest Day” — the catch phrase used ad nauseam by the Golf Channel when speaking of 36-hole U.S. Open final qualifying.

Out of all those players, one made the grade through the qualifying process and landed a spot in the U.S. Open, which is set for June 15-18 at Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course.

That one was former Golden resident Andrew Svoboda, who landed the fourth and final U.S. Open berth at a final qualifier Monday in Summit, N.J.

(It should certainly be noted here that Colorado native Wyndham Clark also will be in the field for the U.S. Open, but he didn’t have to qualify for his spot this year. He was exempt, thanks to being in the top 60 in the World Golf Rankings in large part due to his victory last month in the Wells Fargo Championship. Clark will be playing in his third straight U.S. Open, having missed the cut in both 2021 and ’22.)

As for Svoboda, he made 13 birdies and went 67-70 for a 5-under-par total of 137 in Summit, N.J., on Monday, then prevailed in a playoff for the final U.S. Open berth over Christopher Crawford of Bensalem, Pa. Svoboda previously had made it through local qualifying in Gladstone, N.J.

The former Coloradan thus punched his ticket to his fifth U.S. Open, but first in a decade. His best finish in the event is 71st place in 2008.

Svoboda is a former tour pro who has competed in 78 events on the PGA Tour, where he notched three top-10 finishes, including a runner-up in the 2014 Zurich Classic. He also won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour. He now is the head golf professional at Great River Golf Club in Milford, Conn. 

The New Jersey tournament was one of 10 36-hole U.S. Open final qualifiers held on Monday. While no one else locally advanced via a qualifier to the Open, several came close.

For instance, in Columbus, Ohio, 11 U.S. Open berths were available, and Colorado resident and LIV golfer Scott Vincent finished 13th at 137 after a second-round 66. That left him one stroke out of a playoff for the final qualifying spots.

In Springfield, Ohio, where five spots were up for grabs, Zahkai Brown of Golden (72-64) ended up three strokes out of a playoff.

And in Lakewood, Wash., former Colorado School of Mines golfer George Markham carded scores of 72-69 and finished two behind the two qualifiers at the site.

U.S. Open Final Qualifying Involving Players With Strong Colorado Ties


Summit, N.J. (67 Players for 4 Spots)

Advances to U.S. Open

4. Former Golden resident Andrew Svoboda 67-70—137

Failed to Qualify

Reid Howey, Littleton 73-76–149

Columbus, Ohio (103 Players for 11 Spots)

Failed to Advance

Colorado resident Scott Vincent 71-66–137

Former DU golfer Carson Griggs 71-71–142

Durham, N.C. (76 Players for 5 Spots)

Failed to Advance

Sam Saunders, Fort Collins 70-71–141

Former CU golfer Jeremy Paul 71-WD

Former Air Force Academy golfer Tom Whitney 78-WD

Los Angeles (89 Players for 5 Spots)

Failed to Advance

CU golfer Michael Feuerstein 67-73–140

Former DU golf Danny Wax 70-72–142

Former DU golfer Chris Gilman 76-73–149

Springfield, Ohio (75 Players for 5 Spots)

Failed to Advance

Zahkai Brown, Golden 72-64—136

Denver native Mark Hubbard 71-66—137

Lakewood, Wash. (54 Players for 2 Spots)

Failed to Advance

Former Colorado School of Mines golfer George Markham 72-69—141

Ryan Schmitz, Littleton 74-74–148

CU golfer Dylan McDermott 74-75–149

Former DU golfer John Sand 73-76–149

Former Fort Collins resident Matthew Liringis 75-78—153

Riley Andrews, Castle Rock 79-76–155

DU golfer Matthew Spaulding 79-79–158

Cole Anderson, Colorado Springs 82-80–162

Jed Udall, Boulder 79-86–165

MAY 22

Dallas (120 Players for 8 spots)

Failed to Advance

Former CU golfer Yannik Paul 68-69—137

Former CSU golfer Martin Laird 68-69–137

Jacob Lestishen, Broomfield 71-75–146

Matthew Wilkinson, Centennial 85-76—161

For all the scores from final U.S. Open qualifying, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates