US Open Qualifier 2012: Lake Merced Golf Club, TPC At Harding Park Host Bay Area Qualifying

MARBELLA, SPAIN - JUNE 03: Gary Wolstenholme of England and staff from La Quinta Golf & Country Club after the final round of the Benahavis Senior Masters played at La Quinta Golf & Country Club on June 3, 2012 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

US Open qualifying returns to the Bay Area at TPC Harding Park and Lake Merced Golf Club.

The 2012 U.S. Open is just a few weeks away, and golfers around the globe prepare to fire their best rounds in Sectional Qualifying to get themselves into the toughest test of golf there is today.

Sectional qualifying consists of a 36-hole one-day tournament, with only a handful of available spots at each tournament. Qualifying spots are determined by the field's numbers and strength. The Tourney takes place on June 4.

The state of California rotates its annual sectional qualifier between northern and southern sites, with northern California getting it in even years; meaning this is the year for the North. Lake Merced, originally opened in 1923, has had the sectional qualifier every other year since 1984. This tree-lined beauty course was originally designed by Willie Lock. Lake Merced will also play host the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship in mid-July.

Do to the large size of competitors, The TPC at Harding Park was added as a second course to the qualifying. Formerly this municipal course is owned by the City of San Francisco and was the site off the 2009 President Cu. The course opened in July of 1925 and was named after President Warren Harding, who unfortunately passed away in San Francisco in 1927.

For more on sectional qualifying, check out the USGA's site. For more on the U.S. Open head over to SB Nation's Golf hub.

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