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Gunnar Broin finishes 70th at U.S. Open

KU senior closed first career major with a 72 on Sunday at famed Pinehurst No. 2

6 min read
KU golfer Gunnar Broin is ready to roll at the 124th U.S. Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where he will become the first active Jayhawk to play in one of golf's majors. [R1S1 Sports photo]

Sunday, June 16

Kansas senior Gunnar Broin, who earned a spot at the 124th U.S. Open by surviving a playoff at a recent Monday qualifier and then made the cut to stick around for the weekend, was one of the first players on the course at Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday, and he delivered his third solid round in four days to finish in a tie for 70th place at his first career major.

Broin's 2-over-par 72 on Sunday gave him rounds of 75-68-81-72 for the tournament, leaving him at 16-over for the four rounds.

After starting his day with three pars, he found trouble at the 4th and then carded a double-bogey at the 8th, giving him a 3-over 38 on the front nine.

He added a bogey at No. 11 to move to 4-over for the day, but then played the final six holes at 2-under, with birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 to record his third round of 75 or better of the week.

Broin's 11-over 81 on Saturday put him out of contention for finishing as the top amateur at this year's event. He finished 10 strokes behind Neal Shipley in that chase.

Still, for a 22-year-old senior at KU to qualify somewhat unexpectedly for his first major and then, just one week later, find himself playing at famed Pinehurst No. 2 with the best players in the world — and to beat several of them — was an absolute wild ride, and, as Broin said, a dream come true.

We'll catch up with him this week to find out his best stories and favorite memories of his four rounds at Pinehurst. So, keep an eye out for that later this week.

Broin also will be playing in some fairly high-profile events throughout the summer as a result of his qualifying for the U.S. Open, and he certainly has vaulted himself into the space occupied by some of KU's best athletes.

Saturday, June 15

KU golfer Gunnar Broin's time among golf's elite hit a snag on Saturday, when the senior Jayhawk shot an 11-over 81 in Round 3 to fall into a tie for 73rd place with veteran PGA Tour pro Matthew Fitzpatrick.

After rounds of 75 and 68 to make the cut, Broin found trouble early and often on Saturday, carding two double-bogeys on the front nine and a triple-bogey at the par-5 10th hole to fall off the pace and down the leaderboard.

He did have a birdie on each nine and a handful of pars and bogeys to fill out his card.

Broin will be one of the first to go off on Sunday in the final round, and should have a fairly stress-free round (relatively speaking) with nothing to lose and all kinds of amazing experiences and moments still to gain.

Friday, June 14

Needing a strong showing to stick around for the weekend, KU senior Conner Broin delivered exactly that on Friday — and then some.

Broin, who made the field by earning a spot at a recent Monday qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, was just one of 24 players in the 156-man field to shoot under par on Friday, firing a 2-under 68 thanks to a monster close to his round.

He sits at +3 for the tournament and in a tie for 37th place entering Saturday's third round.

Starting on No. 10 for Round 2, which followed his 5-over 75 during Thursday's first round, Broin shot a 1-under par over his first nine holes and then birdied his 10th hole (No. 1) to move to 2-under for the round.

He gave them both back with a double-bogey 6 on No. 2 and then bogeyed No. 4 to move to +2 for the day and +7 for the tournament.

With the cut line looming at +5, Broin needed a strong finish to stick around and he delivered. Three birdies in a 4-hole stretch, including a huge chip-in on No. 8, a 494-yard par-4 that ranks as the hardest hole on the course through the first two days of the tournament.

Broin was masterful around the greens on Friday, ranking in the top-5 in the entire field in both strokes-gained: short game and strokes-gained: putting.

Broin now gets to play the final two rounds at Pinehurst No. 2 and he remains in contention for the title of low amateur at the tournament, which would earn him entry into next year's U.S. Open, as well.

He is currently tied with Neal Shipley, who is also +3 for the tournament. Broin and Shipley are two of the three amateurs who made the cut.

Fellow-Jayhawk Gary Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, missed this year's cut after shooting 72-78 to finish at +10 for the first two rounds.

Broin, who is believed to be the first active Jayhawk to tee it up in a major, now will tee off on No. 1 at 10:34 a.m. central on Saturday. He'll be playing with Brian Campbell, who shot 73-70 to make the cut at 3-over par.

Thursday, June 13

KU senior Gunnar Broin was outstanding in his first ever round at a major on Thursday, firing a 5-over 75, with one birdie, six bogeys and 11 pars. He avoided the dreaded blow-up hole and managed his way around a really tough track like he'd been doing it for years.

Broin's birdie came on the 479-yard par-4 11th, which ranked as the eighth-hardest hole on the course during Thursday's round.

He was even-par through three holes and shot 38 on the front nine and 37 on the back nine.

He finished the day in a tie for 105th place in the 156-man field and with a better score than some big time names — Justin Thomas (+7), Viktor Hovland (+8), Phil Mickelson (+9) — and just one shot behind golf legend Tiger Woods, who shot 4-over on Thursday.

Broin will tee off in Round 2 at 7:46 a.m. (central) Friday, needing to do a little work to put himself in position to make the cut and stick around for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 12

The time has come for Kansas golfer Gunnar Broin to tee it up at his first PGA Tour major championship.

This week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina will mark the KU senior's first ever PGA event. He'll be playing as an amateur and he made the field by earning a spot at a recent Monday qualifier in Columbus, Ohio.

The 22-year-old Broin, of Shorewood, Minnesota, has been in North Carolina since Sunday night. He played a couple of practice rounds, including one with fellow-Jayhawk Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, and has been on the course plenty trying to get a feel for just how crazy this thing will play this week during the third major of the 2024 PGA Tour season.

Broin will be grouped with Maxwell Moldovan and Taisei Shimizu for Thursday’s opening round and will tee off at 1:31 p.m. on hole No. 1. He'll have the second-to-last tee time of the day, making him one of the final 12 golfers on the course in Round 1.

On Friday, Broin will play with the same group and they will tee off at 7:46 a.m. off hole No. 10. 

Meanwhile, Woodland, who won the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, will be grouped with Tour veterans Justin Rosse and Webb Simpson. That group will tee off at 7:02 a.m. Thursday on No. 10 and 12:47 p.m. Friday on No. 1.

The low 60 scorers and ties after Friday's second round will make the cut and advance to play the final 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday. That group will be paired according to their spot in the standings each day.

For those who want to follow along, here are the tee times and a broadcast schedule for the 124th U.S. Open. 

Thurs., June 13 – 1:31 p.m. CT (First Round) 
Fri., June 14 – 7:46 a.m. CT (Second Round) 

Thurs., June 13 – 7:02 a.m. CT (First Round) 
Fri., June 14 – 12:47 p.m. CT (Second Round) 

HOW TO WATCH (all times Central) 
Thursday, June 13 – Rd. 1 | 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (USA), 4-7 p.m. (Peacock) 
Friday, June 14 – Rd. 2 | 5:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (Peacock), 12-6 p.m. (NBC) 
Saturday, June 15 – Rd. 3 | 9-11 a.m. (USA), 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (NBC) 
Sunday, June 16 – Final Round | 8-11 a.m. (USA), 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (NBC)