Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Five Wildcats Qualify for 2006 U.S. Open Golf Championship
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 07, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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That makes 11 UA participants in the last two Open Championships


TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men’s golf program will be well represented when the United States Golf Association hosts the 2006 United States Open Championship, as five former Wildcats have qualified for the 156-man field.  Two of those players qualified Monday in sectional qualifiers, while three others received exemptions.


David Berganio, Jim Furyk, Chris Nallen, Ted Purdy and Rory Sabatini will all compete for the 106th U.S. Open Championship, June 15-18, at Winged Foot Golf Club’s West Course in Mamaroneck, N.Y.


Berganio, who resides in Sylmar, Calif. earned his spot in the field with third-place finish at the Rockville, Md., sectional qualifier at Woodmont Country Club after shooting a 70-67­­?-137.  The 1991 and 1993 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, Berganio was a three-time All-American while at Arizona and a member of UA’s 1992 national champion.


Furyk, a resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., earned an exemption into the 2006field as a former champion.  Included in his 11 PGA Tour wins is the 2003 U.S. Open Championship to go with the 2006 Wachovia Championship.  Furyk currently ranks third on the PGA Tour with a 69.47 scoring average.  He was a member of Arizona’s 1992 national championship team and a three-time All-American as well.


Nallen, a native of Hackettstown, N.J. tied for 13th place at the Summit, N.J., qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club after carding a 69-68?-137 tally.  He earned his spot in the field on the same course where he won the 2001 New Jersey State Amateur title and qualified for last year’s Open as well.  Nallen, who turned professional in 2004, has one career Nationwide Tour victory to his credit and ranks 72nd on the current Nationwide Tour money list.  He was a four-time All-America for Arizona and ranks second in program history with six career collegiate victories.


Purdy, who resides in Phoenix, earned an exemption into the field by finishing in the top 30 of the 2005 PGA Tour money list.  He won his first PGA Tour event last season at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and has a top-five finish at the Bay Hill Invitational to his credit this season.  Purdy ranks 49th on the PGA Tour’s driving accuracy list.  He earned All-America honors in each of his last three seasons as a Wildcat.


Sabatini, a resident of Southlake, Texas, earned an exemption into the 2006 field by ranking in the top 10 on the current PGA Tour money list.  Since turning professional in 1999, Sabatini has won three PGA Tour events, including the 2006 Nissan Open.  Sabatini ranks 12th on the PGA Tour’s scoring average list at 70.07 yards.  He garnered All-America accolades for the Wildcats in 1996, 1997 and 1998.


Current Wildcat golfer Tyler Neal tied for 10th place with a 74-71?-145 at the sectional qualifier at Columbine Country Club in Littleton, Colo., but did not advance.


Winged Foot’s West Course is a par-72, 6,956-yard layout.  The course has hosted the U.S. Open four previous times with the last coming in 1984.
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