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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Local golfers fall short in final qualifying for U.S. Open

Russell Grove hits a practice shot at The Highlands Golf and Country Club in Post Falls, Idaho, in 2020.  (File photo)

A handful of players with area connections came up short Monday in final qualifying for the U.S. Open.

North Idaho College golf coach Russell Grove missed the mark, as just two players advanced out of 54 in the 36-hole qualifier at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club.

Grove, a Coeur d’Alene High and University of Idaho grad, had scores of 73 and 77.

Grove qualified for the PGA Championship after finishing tied for 11th in the PGA Professional Championship. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship last month at Oak Hill.

Jesse Schutte, of Florence, Oregon, and Hong Kong’s Alexander Yang both shot 3-under 139 to claim the top two spots.

Former Idaho Vandal Justin Kadin came the closest to qualifying for the U.S. Open, which will be held June 15-18 at the Los Angeles Country Club. He was in the mix after a first-round 70. He finished tied for fifth after a second-round 74.

Kadin, who had two top 10 finishes in seven tournaments as a UI senior in 2011-12, was medalist at a local qualifier last month with a 7-under 65 at Indian River Club in Vero Beach, Florida.

Former Washington State Cougar Blake Snyder (75-76), current Cougar and Gonzaga Prep grad Nate Plaster (75-76), WSU’s Daniel Kim (80-77) and Gonzaga’s Zach Stocker, a Central Valley product that shot 76-79, also failed to qualify.

Cameron Kuchar, son of PGA Tour veteran Matt Kuchar, shot a pair of 76s at a qualifier at Pine Tree Golf Club in Boynton Beach, Florida, and tied for 37th. The Kuchar family spends time in the summer in North Idaho and Cameron, 15, has competed in regional junior tournaments.

Clarkston native Joel Dahmen earned a spot in the U.S. Open after finishing tied for 10th in last year’s tournament.