If you have not submitted your application to try to play in the U.S. Open, you will have to wait until next year. The deadline for entries was 5 p.m. Wednesday.

One golfer who did apply in plenty of time and does not have to worry about the first phase of qualifying is Jim Liu of Smithtown. He is exempt from the local qualifying round -- on Long Island, that will be May 11 at Glen Head Country Club -- because he won the U.S. Junior Amateur last July. At 14, he defeated Justin Thomas in the 36-hole final in Michigan and broke Tiger Woods' record as the youngest winner in tournament history.

Liu, who studies under Woods' second coach John Anselmo, gets to go directly to Sectional Qualifying on June 6 at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J. Those qualifiers go to the U.S. Open at Congressional, near Washington, D.C.

Before that, Liu will play one of the big events on the American Junior Golf Association circuit, the Thunderbird International Junior, May 27-30 at Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz. After the U.S. Open process, he said, "I will be heading into a busy summer season."

That will include his defense at the U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., July 18-23. All of the golfers will be honored at a dinner aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.



The Ninth Annual Friends of Karen Golf Outing will be June 7 at the Meadow Brook Club, Jericho. Proceeds go to help patients 21 and younger who are diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Visit friendsofkaren.org . . . The Swing for Kids Golf and Tennis Tournament will be June 13 at the Creek Club. Call 516- 299-3825.

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