FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4) — The United States Open Golf Championship is still a month away, but Utah golfers had a chance to try to qualify to play in one of the biggest tournaments in the world at Oakridge Country Club Monday.

“It’s a great opportunity for players in the state to have an opportunity to come out and try to qualify for the U.S. Open,” said Easton Folster, executive director of the Utah Golf Association.

The 123rd Championship will run from Thursday, June 15 to Sunday, June 18, at the Los Angeles Country Club. Dave Desantis, a former BYU All-American golfer, has been coming out to these qualifiers for 48 straight years.

“I’ve been doing it since I was 15 years old, I haven’t missed one,” Desantis said. “I just love our country’s Open, and I love the game of golf.”

Mitch Schow, a former Utah State Amateur champion and a former University of Utah golfer, has made it out of the local qualifiers 6 of the 7 times he’s tried, and he loves it.

“It’s the U.S. Open, who doesn’t want to be there? It’s a great opportunity,” Schow said.

Peter Kim, a senior at Skyline High School, led today’s qualifying with a 66, which included this long putt for an eagle. For him, today was a little redemption.

“I just wanted to have some fun,” Kim said. “Last year, I think I put a little too much pressure on myself, and I missed it by one shot, so this year, I came out and just wanted to play my game and shoot the lowest score I could.”

The U.S. Open isn’t really all that open. Players have to have a handicap of 1.4 to even try to qualify. And if they get past the local qualifier, it’s on to a 36-hole sectional qualifier before the U.S. Open.

“Obviously, you’ve got to get through the first round, and that’s not easy,” said Cooper Jones, a senior at Lone Peak High School and one of the top amateurs in the state. “There’s a million good golfers in Utah, so you’ve got to come out here first and shoot a good number, and if you make it on to the next one… you have to catch lightning in a bottle. It’s a miracle to actually get into the U.S. Open.”

“To qualify, you’re probably looking at 4 or 5 under, so yeah, it’s going to be lightning in a bottle, then you’ve got to go to the next stage and do the same thing,” Folster said. “It’s tricky, but golfers are dreamers.”

And it’s that dream of making it to the Open that keeps them going.

Jones went on to say it would mean the world to him if he were to play in the U.S. Open. To him, playing on the biggest stage in the golf world would be the sweetest dream come to life.

“It would mean everything,” Kim said. “My goal is to play professionally, so to make it there as a junior golfer would be fantastic.”

“It’s obviously our country’s national championship, so if I get there and possibly play well, it would be just a dream come true to play in the U.S. Open,” Schow said.

The five golfers who qualified today were Peter Kim (66), Mitchell Schow (68) Casey Fowles and Parker Bunn (69) as well as Elijah Turner (70), who won a playoff. Cooper Jones is the first alternate, and David Liechty is the second alternate.