The sun and wind of Tuesday turned into fog and drizzle Wednesday morning at The Olympic Club, where Titleist Brand Ambassador Morgan Hoffmann was practicing on the range. The 22-year-old, who enjoyed a successful three years at Oklahoma State University and played on the 2009 Walker Cup team, took an eventful route to this year's U.S. Open.

Last week, Hoffmann secured a spot in the Sectional Qualifying Round in Columbus, Ohio, as an alternate. After arriving in town on Sunday night, however, there was a mix-up about whether he was actually in the field. The confusion was straightened out quickly, but as Morgan said, “It was scary, although I can laugh about it now.”

He made the most of his opportunity by shooting a 69 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course and a 72 at Scioto Country Club. That performance earned him a spot in a four-way playoff for the last three qualifying positions. Morgan became the first player to survive the playoff with a birdie on the second extra hole to secure his spot in the field at Olympic. The playoff was the same one in which Titleist Staff Professional Dennis Miller earned the final position when his 20-foot birdie putt dropped into the hole after sitting on the lip for several seconds. The video has exploded on the internet.

Morgan played his final practice round Wednesday morning with former OSU teammate and Pro V1x loyalist Rickie Fowler and OSU alum and Titleist golf ball loyalist Bo Van Pelt.

 The Olympic Club is no stranger to Morgan, who played in the 2007 U.S. Amateur as a 17-year old, missing match play but shooting a one-over 71 on the Lake Course, which will host the U.S. Open. "I feel like I know it pretty well," he said.

What's in Morgan Hoffmann's Bag?:
 
Golf ball: 
Titleist Pro V1x.

Driver: 
Titleist 910D3 8.5º.

Irons:
 Titleist MB (4-9).

Pitching Wedge:
Titleist CB.

Wedges:
 Vokey Design SM4 gap (52º), sand (58º) and lob (64º).

Putter:
 Scotty Cameron Newport SS.


As reigning U.S. Open Champion Rory McIlroy makes his final preparations in advance of his title defense, we're excited to bring Team Titleist a first look at a new limited edition masterpiece created by Scotty Cameron.


Capturing the nuance of the putter Rory trusted to win the 2011 U.S. Open, Scotty unveils his Inspired by Rory McIlroy Newport — a handcrafted, custom shape made to Rory’s precise specs. Limited to 989 pieces, this putter embodies the spirit of Rory’s Tour model with a few new twists.

Scotty gave this Inspired by creation the same Honey Dipped golden finish, enhanced Jet Black Bombs in the back cavity and Tour-proven deep milled face as Rory’s gamer. Engraved with his distinctive RORS personalization on the face toe, this putter also features Rory’s autograph and lucky clovers on the sole.

You may not ever own the World Number One ranking, but you now can hold history in your hands with the 2012 Scotty Cameron Inspired by Rory McIIroy Newport SSS. Dream Big.

Product Details

• Newport SSS based on Rory’s gamer

• Precision milled 303 Studio Stainless Steel 345g head

• Deep milled face

• Rolled topline with slightly squared bumpers

• Honey Dipped golden finish

• Jet Black and Kelly Green paintfill

• Dancing Cameron No Cord black grip

• 7 Point Crown shaft band

• Black Industrial Lucky Clover leather headcover


Specifications

• Loft 4°

• Lie 71°

• Length 34”

• Offset One shaft

Release Details

• 989 pieces worldwide (Based on Rory’s birthday 5/4/89)

• Ships June 2012

Visit http://www.scottycameron.com/putters/puttermodel.aspx?id=418 for more images and information.

How do you win the U.S. Open?

Get up-and-down from inside 100 yards (almost every time), according to Titleist Brand Ambassador Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champ. (For Geoff's full answer, watch the above video.)

"Three, four, five times a day at worst you're going to have an up and down from 20 or 30 or 40 (yards) for par," he told Team Titleist recently. "I got almost all of those up and down for a whole week…"

In 2006, Geoff closed out the final round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot with perhaps the best two pars of his life.

On the par-4 17th, he holed his Pro V1 golf ball from 30 yards from a nasty bit of rough. On 18, he got up-and-down from in front of the green (after a tough break), pitching his Pro V1 to 6 feet and making the putt.

"I think anybody who wins the Open, that's what they're doing," Geoff said.

Team Titleist is on the ground at the 112th U.S. Open Championship and long-time Titleist Staff Professional Dennis Miller was the center of attention for most of yesterday morning. The Director of Golf at the Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio, Dennis became an online sensation when his remarkable winning 20-foot putt in a sudden death playoff during June 4th qualifying was caught on tape. Just when it looked like his Pro V1 golf ball would stop short of the cup, it dropped in after approximately five seconds and after Miller looked away.

What makes the story even more interesting, is that Miller was debating whether or not to even go to the event because he was the third alternate. He never played a practice round and had never even played the course before the 36-hole qualifier. He decided to go because it was a good opportunity to play historic Scioto Country Club, in suburban Columbus, Ohio. In fact, he went to a Cleveland Indians game on Sunday, the night before the tournament. He had entered U.S. Open qualifying 11 times prior with his best finish being four shots out.

"There has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support from my community, my family, my friends," said Miller. "I received over a thousand text messages and emails, and I'm trying to get back to everybody. If I haven't, I apologize. But it's been a whirlwind since last Monday. But, you know, the community really embraced me. They stepped up. Some of my sponsors and things of that nature. It's been fantastic. Quite a journey so far."

"You could not script this story," said the 42-year old Miller. "If I birdied one of the final holes in regulation, I'm probably the same story as many of the other great stories ... Mill Creek Metro golf professional, made it to the U.S. Open. But to do it with the cameras rolling, the ball hanging on the lip. I can't tell you how excited my family is."

Reality set in for Miller on Tuesday, the morning after the excitement.

"I still have a job to do back in Mill Creek," he said. "And we actually had a Chamber of Commerce golf outing the next day. We had 300 golfers out there and I worked about 14 hours that day. That was my preparation up to this week. It's been a whirlwind. We're trying to enjoy it."

In case you missed, you can check out the putt that landed Dennis in San Francisco below:

The USGA offers 13 sectional qualifying sites for the U.S. Open – 11 in the U.S. and two overseas in Japan and England. Approximately 750 golfers compete at the sectional qualifying level for about half of the 156 available spots in the U.S. Open.

Sectional qualifying is a demanding 36-hole, one-day marathon, with only a handful of available spots at each site. Qualifying spots are determined by the field's numbers and strength. The USGA established two "tour" sites in Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn., for members of the PGA Tour who either have just competed at The Memorial (Columbus) or are preparing to play the FedEx St. Jude Classic (Memphis).

Dennis Miller joins the following sectional qualifiers, each of whom trusted a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball to play their way into the field at the 2012 U.S. Open Championship.

Lake Hamamatsu CC, Shizuoka, Japan - May 21, 2012
Toru Taniguchi
Hiroyuki Fujita
Dong-Hwan Lee
 
Walton Heath Club, Surrey, England - May 28, 2012
Lee Slattery
Gregory Bourdy
Mikko Ilonen
George Coetzee
Matthew Baldwin
Matteo Manassero
Peter Lawrie
 

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, NJ - June 4, 2012

Brian Gaffney (Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff Member), Rumson, NJ
Mark McCormick (Titleist Staff Professional), Middletown, NJ
 

Springfield Country Club, Springfield, OH - June 4, 2012

Brice Garnett (medalist)
John Peterson
 

Lake Merced Golf Club/TPC at Harding Park, Daly City, CA - June 4, 2012

James Hahn (medalist)
Michael Allen
 

Scioto Country Club/OSU Scarlet Course, Columbus, OH - June 4, 2012

Charlie Wi (medalist)
Blake Adams
Kevin Streelman
D.A. Points
David Mathis
Steve Marino
Martin Flores
Edward Loar
Dennis Miller
Morgan Hoffman
Scott Piercy
 

Woodmont Country Club, Rockville, MD - June 4, 2012

Shane Bertsch (medalist)
Michael Thompson
Paul Claxton
Darron Stiles
Nicholas Thompson
Jeff Curl
 

Lakeside Country Club, Houston, TX - June 4, 2012

Bob Estes (medalist)
Alistair Presnell
Brian Rowell
 

Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course), Lecanto, FL - June 4, 2012

Scott Langley (medalist)
 

The River Club, Suwanee, GA - June 4, 2012

Jason Bohn (medalist)
 

Germantown Country Club, Memphis, TN - June 4, 2012

Tommy Biershenk (medalist)
Joe Ogilvie
William Lunde
Hunter Haas
Roberto Castro
 

Village Links of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL - June 4, 2012

Anthony Summers (medalist)
Tim Herron
 

 

It's been 14 years since the U.S. Open was last contested at Olympic Club in San Francisco.

That was 1998, before Luke Donald, Adam Scott or Geoff Ogilvy first played in a PGA Tour event. Before Rickie Fowler and Kyle Stanley had even teed it up in the American Junior Golf Association.

In other words, not many players in the field are used to racing around this Olympic track, especially not under U.S. Open conditions.

Which means it's time to hit the books. Team Titleist recently caught up with Luke, Adam, Geoff, Rickie and Kyle to talk about their U.S. Open prep and forming a game plan for the year's second major.

Check it out in the above video.

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