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U.S. Open will have strong Cal flavor

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Michael Kim, from the University of California, watches his missed birdie putt on the ninth green during U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Hawks Ridge Golf Club on Monday, June 3, 2013, in Ball Ground, Ga. Kim made a par on the hole to finish at 11 under par, tied for the lead with Ryan Nelson, to qualify for the U.S. Open. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Associated Press
  • Michael Kim, from the University of California, watches his missed birdie putt on the ninth green during U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Hawks Ridge Golf Club on Monday, June 3, 2013, in Ball Ground, Ga. Kim made a par on the hole to finish at 11 under par, tied for the lead with Ryan Nelson, to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Michael Kim atoned for Cal not winning the NCAA title by earning a spot in the U.S. Open.

Kim might have had the longest trip to get to Merion next week for the second major championship. Cal ended its dream season by losing in the NCAA semifinals on Saturday. Kim was in Ohio on Sunday to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top Division I player — presented by Nicklaus himself — and then he returned to Georgia for qualifying.

He had rounds of 67-66 at Hawk’s Ridge in Ball Ground, Ga. to tie for medalist honors and earn one of three spots.

Kim won’t be the only Cal golfer playing in the national championship. Max Homa, who won the NCAA individual championship last week, survived a playoff in a sectional qualifier in Newport Beach to make the field.

Homa fired rounds of 66 and 72 to finish in a three-way tie at 5-under and force the playoff for the two final qualifying spots. The other player to qualify from that three-way tie was USF's Cory McElyea, who shot a pair of 69s on Monday. McElyea and Homa advanced to Merion with pars on the first playoff hole.

In addition, already qualified the field is Cal’s Michael Weaver by virtue of his second-place finish at last year’s U.S. Amateur.

The final stage of U.S. Open qualifying stretched one end of the country to the other on Monday with 11 sites hosting 36-hole qualifiers. The biggest was not far from where the Memorial finished because so many PGA Tour players were involved. Charley Hoffman led eight players who qualified.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen was in the Rockville, Md., qualifier, but only for one round. After opening with a 75, it was discovered he was wearing steel spikes, typical on the PGA Tour but not allowed at Woodmont Country Club.

— Staff, wire reports