'92 Champion Tom Kite Qualifies
For 33rd U.S. Open
June 9, 2004
Far Hills, N.J. - Tom Kite, the 1992 U.S. Open champion and a
19-time winner on the PGA Tour, played his way into his 33rd U.S.
Open on Wednesday by sharing medalist honors with Charleton
Dechert at the rain-delayed sectional qualifier at Shadow Hawk
Golf Club in Richmond, Texas. Kite, 54, of Austin, Texas posted
rounds of 68-71-139 on the 7,185-yard, par-72 layout. Kite and
Dechert earned the two available spots from the sectional.
When Kite arrives at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton,
N.Y., for the 2004 U.S. Open June 17-20, he will be making his
31st consecutive Open start, ranking him third all-time behind
four-time Open champion Jack Nicklaus (44) and three-time Open
winner Hale Irwin (33). Kite last had to qualify for the U.S.
Open in 1976. He played in two U.S. Opens as an amateur while
playing college golf at the University of Texas. In 2003, Kite
received a special exemption into the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields
(Ill.) Country Club, but missed the cut. He has survived the
36-hole cut in 23 of his previous 32 U.S. Open appearances.
|Tom Kite will be making his 31st
consecutive U.S. Open start. (USGA)|
"I'm ready to go," said Kite, who became just
the third former champion to qualify for the U.S. Open. Larry
Nelson, the 1983 winner, qualified in 1997, while Fuzzy Zoeller,
the 1984 champ, qualified in 1997, '98 and '99.
Dechert, 26, of Enid, Okla., joined Kite as the other qualifier
from the sectional. Dechert, who also posted rounds of 68-71-139,
will be making his first U.S. Open appearance. He was a
three-time Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year at Oral
Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., 1999-2001. He currently plays
on the Tight Lies Tour, but has also played in events on the
Hooters and Nationwide tours.
"I'm very excited," Dechert said. "This will
be my first major event as a professional and I hope to do
The sectional at Shadow Hawk was extended one day thanks to a
six-hour rain delay on Tuesday that allowed the competitors to
finish just 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole qualifier.
"The rain delay was more difficult to endure than if we
would have played all 36 holes (on Tuesday)," Kite said.
Among the notables who failed to qualify was 1994 U.S. Amateur
runner-up and two-time USA Walker Cupper (1995 and 2003) Trip
Kuehne of Dallas, Texas. Kuehne (68-72-140), who shared the
18-hole lead with Kite and Dechert, is the first alternate.
Sectional qualifying results, 36 holes of stroke play, for the
2004 U.S. Open, conducted by the United States Golf Association,
June 17-20 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
Shadow Creek Golf Club
(32 golfers for 2 spots)
Tom Kite, Austin, Texas, 68-71-139
Charleton Dechert, Enid, Okla., 68-71-139
Failed To Qualify
a-Trip Kuehne, Dallas, Texas, 68-72--140 (first alternate)
a-Randy Lowry, Spring, Texas, 70-70-140 (second alternate)
a-David Schultz, Fargo, N.D., 70-71-141 (third alternate)
Michael Connell, Richardson, Texas, 69-73-142 (fourth alternate)
a-Alan Hill, Spring Branch, Texas, 72-71-143
a-Anthony Kim, Norman, Okla., 73-71-144
Jaxon Brigman, Abilene, Texas, 69-75-144
Richard Barbles, Houston, Texas, 71-73-144
Ty Cox, Fort Worth, Texas, 75-70-145
a-Titus Harris ., Houston, Texas, 75-70-145
Greg Hiller, Bismarck, N.D., 73-73-146
Stephen Ubernosky, Kingwood, Texas, 71-76-147
a-Aaron Smith, Gulfport, Miss., 74-74-148
a-Evertte F.Nini, Sour Lake, Texas, 72-78-150
a-Charlie Beljan, Mesa, Ariz., 77-73-150
Alan Morgan, Lake Charles, La., 74-77-151
a-Brian Grossman, Mansfield, Texas, 74-77-151
Kelsey Cline, Norman, Okla., 73-78-151
a-Jason Hartwick, Sacramento, Calif., 73-79-152
Tim Mewis, Bellville, Texas, 73-79-152
a-Steve Johnson, Signal Mountain, Tenn., 73-79-152
Toby Grubert, Houston, Texas, 78-74-152
Robert Hessing, Selmer, Tenn., 76-79-155
a-Spencer Cole, Greer, S.C., 75-80-155
a-Oren Hodak, Dallas, Texas, 80-80-160
a-Zack Reeves, Arlington, Texas 77-WD-WD
Billy Tuten, Sugar Land, Texas, 77-WD-WD
a-Bo Stewart, Lake Charles, La., WD
Mac Wylie, Boerne, Texas, WD
a-Robby Skinner, Dallas, Texas, WD