Golf enthusiasts around the country will be glued to their televisions this weekend as the 115th US Open takes place at Chambers Bay Golf Course just outside of Seattle. But Virginia Cavalier fans will have extra incentive to watch: as of Monday, two Wahoos will be in the field. Denny McCarthy, a 2015 grad who recently led Virginia to an 18th-place victory at the NCAA Championship, qualified for the Open by winning a sectional tournament at Woodmont Contry Club in Rockville, Maryland. Steve Marino, a 2002 grad who currently sits 12th on the Web.com Tour money list, gained entry on Monday as a sectional alternate.
The two Wahoos come to the US Open at extremely different places in their careers. McCarthy just wrapped up one of the most-storied careers in UVA golf history. He advanced to the semifinals of the US Amateur Championship last summer, finishing one victory shy of a trip to the Masters. McCarthy told The Daily Progress last week that he hopes to turn professional at the end of the summer.
Marino is steadily returning to form after a series of injuries sidetracked his successful professional career. The '02 grad has earned over $9 million in his career, and owns a top-15 Masters finish. After placing second at the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Marino sat 54th in the world. By the end of 2014, however, he had lost his PGA Tour card. After two top-ten finishes on the Web.com tour this season, Marino has all but assured that he'll be back on the PGA Tour in 2015-2016. His appearance at the Open only underscores the belief that his game has turned the corner.
Marino will tee off in the first group on Thursday at 7 AM PDT on the first hole. He'll tee off at 1PM on Friday on the 10th hole. McCarthy will have almost the opposite schedule. He'll tee off at 1:11 PM on the 10th hole on Thursday, and he'll tee off at 7:11 AM on the first hole on Friday. Marino will play with Michael Putnam and Marcus Fraser. Putnam, a local from University Place, Washington is a three-time winner on the Web.com tour.
This is the first time two Virginia golf alumni have played in a major tournament since the 2009 British Open. That year Marino finished T38, while 2000 graduate James Driscoll missed the cut.
Television coverage of the US Open can be found on Fox and the Golf Channel starting Thursday.