Ritz Carlton course preparing to host U.S. Open qualifier

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LAKEWOOD RANCH - Once the Masters is completed on Sunday, there will be 3 majors left this season in professional golf. One Suncoast golf course will be a key part of who might be playing in the next major.

The U.S. Open is the next major on the professional golf circuit, and it will begin on June 13th at Merion Country Club in Pennsylvania, and the Ritz Carlton Members Club in Lakewood Ranch will be the last qualifying hurdle for someone.

"We’re going to have the best players in the state competing for 3 spots in the U.S. Open. Our members love to see the best players be challenged by our course out here and see how they play the course," says Glenn Murray, director of golf at Ritz Carlton Members Club.

The sectional being held at the Ritz is on June 3rd, and it is the only one in Florida. It is commonly referred to as ‘golf's longest day’. “36 holes in one day; where some dreams come true for players that are going to make it to their first U.S. Open, or various professionals that used to have exemptions that are trying to make it back to the U.S. Open," says Murray.

Spectators are welcome to come see the sectional qualifier.

Because of Golf Channel's coverage of the event, these sectionals are a boon for the clubs that host them. "That will be the first national TV coverage for our course, so we’re glad for that. But also it’s a great spectator day for our community, for our members, and for the Ritz Carlton guests."

Murray is in Augusta now for the masters, but then it is full speed ahead for the next major on the tour. "There will be a lot of set-up in advance. We've got a staff of over 50 who will be preparing, as well as be here that day."