Former UVA All-American Denny McCarthy caps week by qualifying for U.S. Open

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Denny McCarthy (Photo: PGA Tour)

Denny McCarthy had a pretty good five-day stretch last Thursday-through-Monday, finishing in a tie for fifth place in the PGA’s Memorial Tournament on Sunday, then qualifying for next week’s U.S. Open the following day.

The 29-year-old former UVA All-American posted his best finish on the tour this season, yeah, at Jack’s place in Dublin, Ohio, which was also his third top-10 finish this year. The tournament boosted him to No. 43 in the FedEx Cup standings.

McCarthy, known as one of the best putters in professional golf, will be playing in his third U.S. Open (June 13-19 at The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.) by qualifying in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. He put together a 7-under, 69-67 — 136 at Wedgewood CC. McCarthy, who graduated from Virginia in 2015, also played in the U.S. Open in 2015 and 2016.

He closed out his strong finish at the Memorial with an even-par 72 after trailing for the lead by a single stroke midway through the event. It was his ninth top-25 finish in 22 starts.

A few other former Cavaliers came close to qualifying for the U.S. Open field on Monday.

Veteran Steve Marino missed by a stroke in the Jupiter, Fla., qualifying with a 2-under, 68-67, tying him for fifth in that qualifier.

Derek Bard made No. 2 alternate in the Milton, Ontario qualifier with a 7-under, 68-67.

Meanwhile, incoming freshman UVA golfer Ben James tied for third in a Purchase, N.Y. qualifier, with a 2-under 70-68, just missing in an eight-players-for-three-spots playoff there.

In total, nine locations held qualifying Monday for 660 golfers attempting to win the 49 spots available for next week’s Open.