College Golfer Disqualifies Himself After Shooting 62 In US Open Qualifying

Tommy Kuhl shot a course record in a US Open qualifier but was forced to DQ himself after repairing aeration marks on the greens

A red US Open flag blows in the wind
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A college golfer was forced to disqualify himself after making it through a US Open local qualifier with a course record 62.

Tommy Kuhl, a fifth-year senior at the University of Illinois, had just shot 62 at Illini Country Club in Springfield, Illinois to make it through at the US Open qualifier when he realised that he had to DQ himself.

He was out watching his teammate Adrien Dumont De Chassart in a playoff for the final spot when another teammate made a comment about the aerated greens. That's when he realised that he wasn't allowed to repair the aeration marks.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” Kuhl told “I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t tell the rules official.”

Kuhl said he made "multiple" repairs of aeration marks on the greens during his round of 10-under, which is against the rules. Fixing spike marks is now allowed but not aeration marks.

Under Rule 13, you are allowed to fix "damage on the putting green" but that does not include "Normal practices for maintaining the overall condition of the putting green (such as aeration holes and grooves from vertical mowing)."

There are some occasions where a local rule is in place to allow the fixing of aeration marks, but this was not the case on the day at Illini CC.

“I should know better," Kuhl told "It comes down to me. I should know that rule.”

The silver lining in the story is that Kuhl's Illinois teammate Adrien Dumont De Chassart made it through without needing a playoff.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV