The Race to the U.S. Open: Hillcrest CC LA

We break down each qualifying site
Ryan French
Ryan French
June 2, 2023

Race to the U.S. Open: Los Angeles Final Qualifying Breakdown

Host course

Hillcrest Country Club is one of the most exclusive clubs in the country. Hillcrest hosted the 1929 PGA Championship. It also hosted the Los Angeles Open on the PGA Tour twice, counting Ben Hogan among its champions. The club has some famous history; Groucho Marx was among its members. George Burns, Don Rickles, Milton Berle and Don Rickles had lunch weekly at the club. The course was designed by Will Watson but underwent an extensive renovation headed up by Kyle Phillips in 2019. The par-71 course will play just under 7,000 yards. 

Players in the field: 90

Spots available: Unknown, but best guess is around 10

Most decorated players in the field

• Charley Hoffman: The 46-year-old hasn’t won since the Valero Texas Open in 2016, but he owns four PGA Tour wins and is closing in on 500 career starts. Hoffman has three top-25 finishes this season with a best finish of T-14 at the Waste Management Open. 

• Brendan Steele: The three-time PGA Tour winner is now part of Phil Mickelson’s HyFlyers team on LIV. He joined LIV at the beginning of this season. After opening the season with two top-fives, Steele has struggled with no top-10s in his last six starts. 

Other PGA Tour/LIV winners

Sangmoon Bae, Matt Jones, Danny Lee


• The kids: Adriel Abaoag will tee it up for a chance to play down the street at LACC. If he doesn’t make it, he will have a few more years to try, as he doesn’t graduate from high school until next year. That is nothing compared to Jaden Soong. He survived a 3-for-2 playoff to punch his ticket to final qualifying. Just 13 years old, Soong will take the day off from seventh grade to attempt to qualify. 

• Ian Gilligan: Gilligan is coming off a stellar sophomore year at Long Beach State, including winning the individual Big West Conference Championship and helping the Beach take home the team title. Gilligan overcame a rare form of childhood cancer when he was in high school and won the state title despite undergoing chemotherapy just months prior. 

Tommy Morrison: You might remember that I said Jordan Hahn would be the tallest player if he qualifies for Open.. Well, I was wrong, Morrison would be. The 6-foot-10 freshman at Texas is coming off of a solid season. He just competed in the four-ball Championship with former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo.

T.J. Vogel: Whenever there is a qualifier and Vogel is involved, other players should be aware of where he is on the leaderboard. Vogel Monday-qualified a record eight times on the PGA Tour in the 2017-18 season. 

LIV members: No fewer than four will be in the field at Hillcrest—Steele, David Puig, Matt Jones, and Danny Lee. 


James Driscoll, Chris Gilman, Paul Imondi, Kenny Pigmen, Preston Summerhays, Norman Xiong, Kevin Yu

Link to the leaderboard/tee times here:

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