Four New Englanders competing in the U.S. Open originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
This weekend, many spectators will be following the leaders and other big names in golf amid the LIV Golf and PGA Tour controversy surrounding the U.S. Open. But, there are four players that should be on local fans' radars: Keegan Bradley, Fran Quinn, Michael Thorbjonsen and Caleb Manuel.
All of these golfers deserve attention from their fellow native New Englanders as they compete at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. this weekend.
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Keegan Bradley, 36, currently sits at No. 47 in the world and is the top golfer from New England. He is an avid Boston sports fan and threw out the first pitch at last night's Red Sox game.
During his practice round, Bradley showed his support for Boston sports through his footwear. One shoe had green laces and the Celtics shamrock, while the other shoe bore gold laces and the Bruins logo, along with Red Sox' retired No. 27 in honor of Carlton Fisk, his wife's uncle. The 2011 PGA Championship winner's tee time on Thursday is 8:02 a.m.
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Fran Quinn, 57, is the oldest golfer in the field and will be playing in his fifth U.S. Open this weekend. The Massachusetts native is a veteran of the New England golf scene. His son, Owen Quinn, will caddy for him during the tournament. Owen Quinn was on the Lehigh golf team and has previously played The Country Club course at the state amateur a couple of years ago. Fran Quinn caddied for his son during that golf tournament.
“You’ve got to pay attention, but he’s really good. He’s a smart kid and he will be able to help me out a lot. I can’t believe how well it’s been presenting and it’s going to be a great test and a fun week," Fran Quinn said.
Quinn's tee time is at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday.
Michael Thorbjonsen, 20, is the No. 24 amateur golfer in the world and just finished his sophomore year at Stanford. He also won the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship as well as the 2021 Western Amateur and Massachusetts Amateur. Thorbjonsen, a Wellesley native, will tee off early tomorrow morning at 6:45 a.m. with his childhood best friend, Drew Cohen, on his bag.
"I'm very excited to be here. It's only 10 minutes away from where we both live. Been looking forward to this for the past 4 to 5 years and then finally being able to qualify last week," Thorbjornsen said.
Caleb Manuel, 20, is the third golfer from Maine to ever qualify for the U.S. Open. Manuel will be a junior at University of Connecticut in the fall. The 20-year-old from Topsham, Maine qualified June 6 at Century and Old Oaks Country Clubs (N.Y.) He will tee off at 8:57 a.m. Thursday.
Of the four native New Englanders, Keegan Bradley has the best chance at showing up on the leader board, but local fans should keep an eye out for the other three golfers as the U.S. Open begins Thursday.
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