Open Season

Former CU golfer — and current Boulder resident — Yannik Paul earns exemption into U.S. Open, his first major; Colorado native Wyndham Clark qualifies for his second straight Open; Jake Staiano narrowly misses the mark

By Gary Baines – 6/6/2022

One golfer with strong Colorado ties just landed a spot in next week’s U.S. Open without having to hit a shot on Monday, the biggest qualifying day for the event. Two others, once high school teammates at Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, had to battle through 36 holes on Monday, straddling the qualifying line, one earning a berth and one falling just short.

The bottom line is that Boulder resident and former University of Colorado golfer Yannik Paul and Colorado native Wyndham Clark are headed to the U.S. Open, while Coloradan Jake Staiano ended with a near miss.

Yannik Paul.

Paul was one of a dozen players that have recently earned exemptions into the U.S. Open, the USGA announced on Monday. In Paul’s case, he landed a berth thanks to his performance in the four-event U.S. Open 2022 European Qualifying Series that ended on Sunday. The 28-year-old Paul, who checked in at No. 8 on that list, will be making his major championship debut when The Country Club in Brookline, Mass hosts the Open June 16-19.

The former Buff finished 16th in the Betfred British Masters in early May, a DP World Tour career-best second in the Soudal Open in mid-May, missed the cut in the Dutch Open, then placed 18th on Sunday in the Porsche European Open.

Overall this season on the DP World Tour — the former European Tour — Paul owns three top-10 finishes and five top-20s. He has moved up to No. 196 in the World Golf Rankings.

Paul, a German, played for CU for all seasons but one from 2013-18. His twin brother, Jeremy, was also on the team for three of those seasons. Jeremy is now a regular on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Wyndham Clark.

Meanwhile on Monday, Clark qualified for his second straight U.S. Open, this time again through a final qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. The 2010 CGA Amateur champion — a veteran of 106 PGA Tour events, having earned more than $4 million — just wrapped up 36 holes before sunset on Monday. His rounds of 70-67 left him at 6-under-par 137, which put him in a share of ninth place at a site where the top 13 finishers will advance to the U.S. Open.

Through 36 holes, the two-time Colorado state high school champion made 10 birdies and four bogeys. It will be Clark’s fourth major championship — two PGA Championships to go along with two U.S. Opens — all coming since 2020. 

The Columbus U.S. Open qualifying tournament was one of nine 36-hole final qualifiers held on Monday.

Staiano, a onetime teammate of Clark at Valor Christian, came ever so close to landing a U.S. Open berth in final qualifying in Roswell, Ga.

But Staiano ended up in sixth place at a site in which four advanced. The 2021 Rocky Mountain Open champion and Inspirato Colorado Open runner-up posted scores of 69-70. After parring 11 of his first 12 holes of the second round, Staiano went double bogey, bogey, eagle (on a par-4), par, birdie, birdie to close his day. He finished a stroke out of a playoff for the fourth and final spot.

Here are the scores for the local players at U.S. Open final qualifying:


ROSWELL, GA. (Ansley GC)

Top 4 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open

Failed to Advance

6. Jake Staiano, Englewood 69-70–139

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Kinsale and Wedgewood GC)

Top 13 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open


9. Colorado native Wyndham Clark 70-67–137

Failed to Advance

18. Former CSU golfer Martin Laird, Cherry Hills Village 69-70–139

48. Former Air Force Academy golfer Kyle Westmoreland 73-71–144

56. Griffin Barela, Lakewood 73-72–145


Top 8 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open

Failed to Advance

23. CSU golfer Gavin Hagstrom, Fort Collins 70-71–141

31. DU golfer John Sand 71-72–143

SAN FRANCISCO (Olympic Club’s Ocean Course)

Top 5 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open

Failed to Advance

Former DU golfer Chris Gilman 70-69–139

Ben Lanting, Littleton 69-75–144

Former DU golfer Chris Gilman 70-69–139

Ryan Burke, Longmont 80-70–150

Former DU golfer Chris Korte, Littleton 75-76–151

Ryan Burke, Longmont 80-70–150

Colorado School of Mines golfer Ethan Adam 83-83–166

BEND, ORE. (Pronghorn Resort)

Top 3 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open

Failed to Advance

Former Colorado Christian University golfer Chase Carlson 72-72–144

Jack Hughes, Boulder 73-77–150

Riley Arp, Fort Collins 80-74–154

Dan Sniffin, Broomfield 77-78–155

Former JGAC member Parker Paxton, Riverton, Wyo. 74-DQ

MAY 23 


(Top 13 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open)

Failed to Advance

31. Cheyenne native and former CU golfer Josh Creel 71-68–139

52. Former Montrose resident Brandon Bingaman 69-72–141

61. DU golfer Esteban Missura 75-68–143

77. Former DU golfer Jackson Solem, Longmont, 77-69–146

Sam Saunders, Fort Collins 73-NC


(Top 3 Finishers Advance to U.S. Open)

Failed to Advance

6. Colorado resident Scott Vincent, Zimbabwe 67-72–139

For all the scores from U.S. Open final qualifying, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was voted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2021. Email: