U.S. Open qualifying lets in a few, leaves out some big names

Jay Busbee

Monday was the longest day of the golf year, and for many, the most dramatic. U.S. Open sectional qualifying is the 36-hole last-ditch hope for several well-known names and dozens of unknowns to reach one of the great events in all of sports. Sure, the galleries are less crowded than your average bar on a Tuesday afternoon, but there's more drama than most four-day tournaments.

While the qualifying isn't done -- most play at Memphis was rained out and will conclude on Tuesday -- Let's take a quick look at many of the big names who did (and didn't) make the cut to play at Olympic in a couple weeks, shall we?

Casey Martin: The winner of a landmark 2001 Supreme Court lawsuit allowing him to use a cart in competition. He'll get his own profile in just a bit.

Dennis Miller: Won his way in with the best putt since Tiger Woods at Augusta's 16th half a decade ago.

Davis Love III: The Ryder Cup captain jumped from 16th at Memorial to shoot a 139 over 36 holes in Ohio, qualifying for the third time in six years.

Steve Marino, Rod Pampling, D.A. Points, Charlie Wi, Kevin Streelman: These well-known names played their way into the tournament via the Ohio qualifier. Wi won the Ohio event by three strokes.

Ben Curtis: The former British Open champ fell short in his bid to play in another major.

Rory Sabbatini, Spencer Levin: This is the cruelest cut of all. Both of these guys had a chance to win on Sunday at The Memorial, and both fell short. And then both fell apart in qualifying. Levin has a chance to make it in if he can get into the world top 60 after this weekend at Memphis.

Jordan Spieth: Missed a five-foot birdie putt in a playoff that would have put him in the Open.

J.B. Holmes, Ryan Moore, Jhonattan Vegas, Johnson Wagner: These known names, all with PGA Tour success, didn't make it out of qualifying.

Chad Campbell, Jeff Maggert, Lee Janzen, Arjun Atwal, Justin Leonard, David Duval, Brian Gay: These players are among the crew playing in Memphis on Tuesday.

The U.S. Open is the greatest event in golf from the perspective that you or I could play in it. But if we expected to and then fell short? Nightmare.