Former Men’s Golfer Heads to U.S. Open

Former Men’s Golfer Heads to U.S. Open

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The third time was the charm for former Santa Clara golfer Hayden Shieh at qualifying for this year's U.S. Open, which will be held at nearby historic Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Shieh, who has played events on the Canadian tour this spring, qualified earlier this month for the 119th occurrence of one of golf's four major championships.

The native of Fremont, California, posted a two-round total of 11-under-par 132 to become one of five individuals to advance among the 99 at sectional qualifying in Newport Beach Country Club and Big Canyon Country Club on June 3.

Shieh, making his first trip to the U.S. Open, had twice before attempted to qualify at the same venues.

"I did one in high school and didn't get through," Shieh said. "And then I did another one in college and didn't get through. But this year, the third time, I finally made it. This year I played extremely well."

In the opening round, he carded a 5-under 67 at Big Canyon and followed up with a 6-under 65 at Newport Beach. He finished tied for second with Richard Lee of Phoenix, one shot back of Chun An Yu of Chinese Taipai.

Shieh, who graduated from Santa Clara last summer, missed the cut at the Bayview Place DC Bank Open in British Columbia, but that enabled him to get in extra practice time prior to sectional qualifying.

"I had a six-foot putt on the last hole to miss it by one shot," Shieh said.

In Thursday's opening round, Shieh will tee off from No. 10 at 2:42 p.m. with Spencer Tibbitts, who just finished his junior year at Oregon State, and Connor Arendell, who played at UCF before turning pro in 2013. That trio will tee off from No. 1 in Friday's second round at 8:57 a.m.

Shieh is familiar with the course, which is located just 80 miles from the Santa Clara campus. He has been practicing there since Saturday.

"Saturday was super casual. No one was out there to watch," Shieh said. "Sunday was cool to play on my own. On Monday, people started rolling in so the first couple of holes I felt the nerves and pressure with about 100 people on each hole watching you."

Crowds will be much bigger on the par-71, 7,075-yard course when play officially begins.

"It's been an incredible experience so far," Shieh said. "It's a lot different than college golf. Every hole you need to focus on where you want to hit it and keep your head down. Focus on yourself and not anyone else."

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