Two weeks before the U.S. Open returns to Torrey Pines, another elite field will tee off at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Escondido native Haley Moore will be there. She's been trying to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open since she was in high school. All that work paid off Monday.
“Finally it happened,” Moore said through a smile.
Haley finished in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard at even par in a field of more than 80 golfers. In doing so she claimed one of the four spots available at yesterday's qualifying event at Brentwood Country Club.
“Just kind of exciting and kind of got a little bit of goosebumps just because this has been a goal of mine to make a U.S. Open because it's the major championship for men's and women's golf,” Haley said on Tuesday. “I've heard great things about it every year with the venue, how it's put on, so to be able to actually go there is pretty awesome.”
She'll head north to the famed Olympic Club, host of five U.S. Opens - the most recent coming in 2012. The opportunity is well earned, Haley and her fellow competitors played 36 holes Monday, a test of skill as well as endurance.
“My last six holes I was starting to feel really tired,” Haley admitted. “But I just told myself to keep pushing and pushing, you're almost done.”
Haley's long-awaited breakthrough demonstrates her continued growth in the early stages of her pro career. In March the 22-year-old had her best performance on the LPGA Tour at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad - finishing tied for 33rd. The experience she's gaining on the job served her well in Monday’s qualifier.
“The shots I had coming down the stretch I knew I was able to pull off just because I have been in that scenario before,” Haley said. “So I'm very excited for where my game is headed, and I'm just gonna practice up until the U.S. Open and get ready.”
Haley will have one more LPGA tune-up before the major tournament. She's scheduled to play in Williamsburg, VA in two weeks, with the U.S Women's Open set to tee off June 3.