June 14, 2006
ATLANTA – Recent Georgia Tech All-Americans Matt Kuchar and Nicholas Thompson qualified their way in and will join PGA Tour veterans Stewart Cink and David Duval in the 156-man field when the 106th United States Open begins Thursday at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Duval will be playing in his 14th U.S. Open, Cink in his 11th, while Kuchar will compete in his fifth Open and Thompson his first.
Duval tees off at 8:28 a.m. Thursday and 1:58 p.m. Friday, playing with Colin Montgomerie of Scotland and John Cook of Windermere, Fla. Cink, playing with Retief Goosen of South Africa and Padraig Harrington of Ireland, has the same tee times for both days, beginning on opposite nines. Thompson has a 7 a.m. tee time Thursday and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, paired with Kent Jones of Albuquerque, N.M., and Phillip Archer of England. Kuchar will play at 12:52 p.m. Thursday and 7:22 a.m. Friday with Paul Casey and Graeme Storm of England.
Cink, a three-time All-American at Tech who finished third in the 2001 U.S. Open, is in the field as a result of his tie for 15th at last year’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst, N.C., as well as his position in the top 50 of the Official World Ranking. This year, Cink ranks 42nd on the PGA Tour money list with more than $941,000 in earnings. He finished 10th at the Masters Tournament and tied for fourth at the Bank of America Colonial. He has tied for 16th or better in six Opens, and ranks 22nd in career PGA Tour earnings with more than $16.7 million.
Duval, in the final year of his five-year exemption for winning the 2001 British Open, has played 14 events on the PGA Tour this year, earning more than $176,000. More than $120,000 of that has come in his last four events. Duval has not made a cut at the Open since 2001, and earned top-10 finishes three straight years from 1998-2000. The four-time Tech All-American still ranks 24th in career PGA Tour earnings with more than $16.5 million.
Kuchar, currently playing on the Nationwide Tour, won medalist honors at his 36-hole sectional qualifier at Ansley Golf Club at Settindown Creek in Roswell, Ga., with scores of 68-67. He also was the medalist at his local qualifier, played at River Pines golf Club in Atlanta. Now a resident of Atlanta, Kuchar tied for 14th in the 1998 U.S. Open while still at Tech, the year after he won the U.S. Amateur. He ranks 13th on the Nationwide Tour money list this year and has earned more than $2.9 million in official money on the PGA Tour in his career.
Thompson, who graduated from Tech in May of 2005 and was a three-time All-American, made the Open field by tying for ninth place at the sectional qualifier in Summit, N.J., the same site in which Michelle Wie attempted to qualify. After earning his 2006 PGA Tour card through Q-school last fall, tied for sixth place at last weekend’s LaSalle Bank Open on the Nationwide Tour. He has earned $43,082 in official money in 14 events this year, and his highest finish has been a tie for 59th at the FBR Open.