MORGANTOWN W.Va. – West Virginia’s most decorated professional golfer will have a chance to qualify for one of golf’s biggest stages next month.
Etienne Papineau won the Walworth, New York, U.S. Open local qualifier earlier this month with a four-under-par, 68-shot performance. As a result, he will participate in one of 13, 36-hole final qualifiers, the last round of cuts in the player selection process. Papineau will compete in the Canadian sectional on June 5.
No other player in the Walworth qualifier shot below 70.
The U.S. Open field consists of past winners, the top-60 players (with ties) from the World Rankings, the winner of this weekend’s PGA Championship, as well as other qualifying-exempt players from the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and the NCAA. Any remaining spots are filled with the best-performing players from the 13 final qualifying tournaments. There are currently 52 golfers exempt from qualifying.
There were 10,187 entries for this year’s qualifying tournaments, which is a U.S. Open record. Professionals, and any players with a handicap index of 1.4 or lower, are eligible for qualifying. Only two golfers have previously won the U.S. Open title after qualifying through local and sectional play: Ken Venturi (1964) and Orville Moody (1969).
In two years as a professional, he has made one start on the PGA Tour at the 2022 WM Phoenix Open. He shot a two-over-par 72 on Thursday and Friday of the tournament, and he missed the cut at four-over-par.
At WVU, Papineau recorded five top-10 finishes in his junior and senior seasons combined. He averaged 73.41 shots per 18 holes as a senior. His career-low score of 65 at the Old Town Club Collegiate in 2019 is tied for the fourth-lowest single round score in WVU history.
The Quebec-native was a member of the Canadian National team in 2014-2015, and he was the No. 13 amateur in Canada in 2014.
The 123rd U.S. Open will be held at the Los Angeles Country Club North Course in mid-June.