Canadian PGA members Stephen Ames, David Hearn, Graham DeLaet, Brad Fritsch and Mike Weir are among the record 9,000-plus players who submitted an entry for the 2013 U.S. Open Championship to be played this June at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania.
Daniel Zimring, a 44-year-old professional from El Segundo, Calif., was the first of 9,860 entrants who put in their application, eclipsing the previous mark of 9,086 for the 2009 championship at Bethpage. The USGA says 643 entries were received on the last day applications were accepted, April 24th, including 141 applications which were submitted in the final hour. Joseph Bush, a 45-year-old professional from Scotch Plains, N.J., submitted his entry just eight seconds before the 5 p.m. deadline.
Joining the five PGA Tour regulars, as many as 242 other Canadians will take part in either local or sectional qualifying which begins next month. Among them Web.com Tour regulars Adam Hadwin, Roger Sloan and James Love; PGA Tour Canada Order of Merit winner Matt Hill; Asian Tour rookie Richard T. Lee; PGA Tour Latinoamerica players Andrew Parr, Matt Johnston and Derek Gillespie.
Isabelle Beisiegel, who became the first female golfer to earn full exempt status on a regular men's Tour in 2011, also submitted an entry.
Also signing up is Josh Williams from Kitchener, Ont., a two-time Canadian amputee national open champion who last summer became just the third ever golfer to win both the Canadian and American events in the same year.
Among the 9,000-plus entries, 52 players - including 11 past champions - are fully exempt into the field of 154. They include defending champion Webb Simpson, Masters runner-up Angel Cabrera, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and three time U.S. Open winner Tiger Woods, who will be looking for his first major since 2008.
Local qualifing is scheduled for 111 sites across the United States between May 3-16. Sectional qualifying will be held at 11 U.S. sites and two international sites (Japan and England) between May 27 and June 3.