Erin, Wisc. - Three former ASUN Conference Men's Golf standouts qualified for this week's 117th U.S. Open at the Erin Hills golf course in Wisconsin. Russell Knox, Gene Sauers and Sam Ryder will all tee off on Thursday in the opening round.
Sauers, the 1983 ASUN Player of the Year and Championship medalist, qualified for the 117th U.S. Open by winning last year's U.S. Senior Open. The former Georgia Southern star golfer has four top-10 finishes on the PGA Champions Tour this season and ranks 13th in the Charles Schwab Cup rankings so far. Sauers is paired today with Chez Reavie and amateur Stewart Hagestad.
Ryder is making his U.S. Open and PGA major debut this week at Erin Hills. The 2012 ASUN Championship medalist and three-time All-Conference performer came through the sectional qualifying at Woodmont Country Club. Three spots were at stake in the qualifier and Ryder qualified thanks to an opening round 62. This week's U.S. Open is the first PGA Tour event for the former Hatter. He will be teeing off at 3:42 PM ET in the final pairing of the day with Alex Smalley (a) and Andy Pope.
Knox is back in the U.S. Open after being among the top-50 in the current Official World Golf Ranking. He enters the event ranked 39th and sits 55th in the FedEx Cup standings. The former Jacksonville University star comes in with three top-10 finishes this season, including a third-place performance at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. This will be Knox's third U.S. Open, with his best result coming in last year's event with a T23rd finish. Knox will be playing with Martin Laird and Scott Gregory (a) in the opening round.