UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – The focus at the U.S. Open this week will no doubt be on the stars.
That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of quirky stories elsewhere at Chambers Bay.
Take Tom Hoge and Josh Persons, who hail from the golfing hotbed of North Dakota. Not only did they defy the odds by beating it out of a cold-weather climate, they share the same coach in John Dahl, the head pro at Oxbow Golf and Country Club near Fargo.
From former rugby players to the cousin of NBA star Jabari Parker, there is no shortage of interesting backgrounds. All made it to the U.S. Open in part because of the tournament's democratic nature: Anyone with a good enough handicap can attempt to qualify.
They are also what make this major championship unique.