You won't find Tom Lehman or Tim Herron at this year's U.S. Open. The days of those Minnesotans playing in - and contending (Lehman tied for second in 1996; Lumpy was sixth in 1999) - at golf's second major are long gone.

Sammy Schmitz, the local healthcare rep who qualified for the Masters as a feel-good story in April, isn't around either. Same for Spring Lake Park grad Troy Merritt, Wayzata's Cameron White, local teaching pros Jon Reigstad and Aaron McClay and former Gophers Eric Van Rooyen and Justin Smith.

They all advanced to the section qualifying stage for the U.S. Open but fell just short of making the big show.

Yet that doesn't mean you can't find a player with local ties to latch onto this week as a sentimental favorite among the 156 players in the field.

Dig deep enough - deeper than, say, the rough at Oakmont - and there's a sprinkling of Minnesota set to battle for a major championship.

Tom Hoge

Who is he: Ranked No. 238 in the world but has a pair of top 10 finishes this season on the PGA Tour.

Why you should be in his corner: The Fargo native won back-to-back Minnesota state amateur championships in 2009 and 2010.

Round 1 tee time: 5:56 a.m. central

Charlie Danielson

Who is he: University of Illinois senior who fired a 67 in Round 1 of the Northern Trust Open in February, one shot off the lead.

Why you should be in his corner: Grew up playing at Krooked Kreek Golf Club, roughly 50 miles northeast of Minneapolis just over the border in Wisconsin.

Round 1 tee time: 7:46 a.m. central

Derek Chang

Who is he: PGA Latinoamerica Tour product, making eight starts in 2015

Why you should be in his corner: Played two seasons for the Gophers, making 20 starts including a third-place finish at the 2009 Big Ten championships.

Round 1 tee time: 7:57 a.m. central

Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson

Who ae they: PGA Tour big shots with a combined 10 tour wins. Simpson won the 2012 U.S. Open

Why you should be in their corner: Before they ever made a dime from golf, both were quarterfinalists at the 2006 U.S. Amateur tournament at Hazeltine National in Chaska.

Round 1 tee times: 7:24 a.m. central (Fowler); 12:27 p.m. (Simpson)

Phil Mickelson

Who is he: Five-time major champion who has a record six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open

Why you should be in his corner: Other than he'd complete the career grand slam with a win, Mickelson is also the only golfer in the field who also competed in the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine. The week of his 21st birthday Mickelson finished T55, the low amateur.

Round 1 tee time: 1:09 p.m. central

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