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Last Six Spots in U.S. Open Field Set

June 11, 2018 Southampton, N.Y. By Brian DePasquale, USGA
Scott Piercy, a co-runner-up in 2016, will make his seventh U.S. Open appearance. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Two additional players have earned full exemptions into the 118th U.S. Open Championship, to be contested June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, bringing the number of fully exempt players to 78. Additionally, four alternates from sectional qualifying were added to complete the 156-player field.

Emiliano Grillo earned an exemption based on the current Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Grillo, of Argentina, who is No. 52 in the OWGR, is playing in his third U.S. Open. The 25-year-old has eight top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour this season, including a third at the Fort Worth Invitational and a tie for third at the Houston Open. Grillo, whose best U.S. Open finish is a tie for 54th in 2016, owns one PGA Tour victory, the 2015 Open.

Byeong Hun An, who is No. 57 in the OWGR, is making his fifth U.S. Open start. The 26-year-old from the Republic of Korea has three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season. He tied for second at the Memorial Tournament, losing in a playoff to Bryson DeChambeau. An, who won the PGA European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in 2015, became the youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur when he captured the 2009 championship at age 17 at Southern Hills Country Club, in Tulsa, Okla.

The USGA held six spots in the field for those players who could potentially qualify by moving into the top 60 of the OWGR, as of June 11. Since Grillo and An were the only players to earn an exemption, four alternates from sectional qualifying were added to the field. They are Ryan Evans, Rikuyo Hoshino, Scott Piercy and Ted Potter Jr.

Evans, 31, of England, was the first alternate from the England sectional. He is playing in his first U.S. Open. Evans posted eight top-10 finishes on the Challenge Tour in 2017, including his first professional victory when he won the Turkish Airlines Challenge by four strokes.

Hoshino, 22, of Japan, was the first alternate from the Japan sectional. He is competing in his first U.S. Open. Hoshino, who turned professional in 2016, has three top-10 finishes on the Japan Tour this season, including a tie for fifth at the JGT Championship Shishido Hills. He placed among the top 10 in five Japan Tour events in 2017.

Piercy, 39, of Las Vegas, Nev., tied for second, three strokes behind Dustin Johnson in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. He is competing in his seventh U.S. Open and was the first alternate in the Memphis, Tenn., sectional qualifier. Piercy has won four PGA Tour tournaments, including this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans with partner Billy Horschel. He has finished in the top 25 eight times this season.

Potter Jr., 34, of Silver Springs, Fla. is playing in his third U.S. Open. He earned the first-alternate spot from the Columbus, Ohio, sectional by making a 12-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole. Potter won for the second time on the PGA Tour when he claimed the 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Potter, who also tied for 16th in this year’s RBC Heritage, won the 2012 Greenbrier Classic.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is the lone club to have hosted the U.S. Open in three different centuries. In 1896, James Foulis won the second U.S. Open with a three-stroke victory over Horace Rawlins. Raymond Floyd (1986) and Corey Pavin (1995) were U.S. Open champions in the 20th century. Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open in 2004.

There were 112 U.S. Open local qualifying sites that led to 12 sectional qualifiers, including international sites in Japan and England. Sectional qualifying in the United States took place at 10 sites on June 4. The USGA accepted 9,049 entries by the deadline of April 25, the eighth-highest total in championship history.