June 9, 2008
Six former members of the University of New Mexico men's golf team are set to compete in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif., this weekend. Charlie Beljan (2004-07), D.J. Brigman (1996-99), Brad Bryant (1974-76), Jay Choi (2003-06), Brian Kortan (1990-94) and Michael Letzig (2000-03) have all qualified for the event, giving the Lobos excellent representation in one of golf's four major events on the year.
Beljan, the 2007 Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Player of the Year, is currently playing on the Gateway Tour in Arizona where he is ranked eighth overall. He tied for medalist honors with Rich Beem at the Richmond, Texas, sectional qualifier at Shadow Hawk Golf Club. The 2007 All-American is making his first appearance at the U.S. Open.
Brigman returns to the U.S. Open for the third time in his career after qualifying at the Cordova, Tenn., sectional. A first-team All-WAC selection in 1999, Brigman has made the cut each time he has competed at the U.S. Open. Last season he tied for 30th at Oakmont.
Bryant was an All-American for the Lobos in 1975 and finished tied for 15th at the 1974 NCAA Championships. Bryant will be making his seventh appearance in the U.S. Open. He won the 2007 U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits to qualify. His best finish in the U.S. Open came in 1995 when he tied for 13th at Shinnecock Hills.
Choi, the 2006 MWC Individual Champion, qualified for his first U.S. Open through the Littleton, Colo., sectional at Columbine Country Club.
Kortan, also qualified at the Littleton, Colo., sectional, earning medalist honors in the event. The 1992 WAC Champion is making his first showing at the U.S. Open. He last competed on the PGA Tour in 2004, making seven cuts. Kortan is currently on the Adams Series tour after recovering from a heart attack he suffered two years ago. He plays with a heart monitor under his shirt and a defibrillator in his bag.
Letzig, the 2003 MWC Player of the Year, is also making his first appearance at the U.S. Open. He is currently 104th on the PGA Tour Money List, posting three top-25 finishes in 15 events this season.
Action at the U.S. Open begins on Thursday, June 12 and can be followed online at www.usopen.com.