Ishikawa finishes strong to get US Open spot

Ryo Ishikawa is among seven players who no longer have to
qualify for the U.S. Open.

Ishikawa closed with a 64 on Sunday, and while he lost in a
playoff at the Totoumi Hamamatsu Open in Japan, his runner-up
finish moved him up four spots to No. 49 in the world and earned
him a spot at Congressional on June 16-19 for the U.S. Open.

The top 50 in the next world ranking are exempt from U.S. Open
qualifying. Italian Matteo Manassero and Peter Hanson also got in
through the ranking.

Colonial winner David Toms made it into the U.S. Open by being
in the top 10 on the latest PGA Tour money list, along with
Australian Aaron Baddeley and Rory Sabbatini of Spain. Anders
Hansen of Denmark earned a spot from among the top five on the
European Tour money list.

That makes 73 players who are exempt from qualifying for the
156-man field.

In a change this year, the United States Golf Association added
another deadline to crack the top 50 in the world and be exempt for
the U.S. Open. That will be the ranking published June 13, after
the St. Jude Classic and the BMW Italian Open.

Otherwise, sectional qualifying will be held Monday in Japan,
May 30 in England and June 6 at 11 sites in the United States.

Among those still not exempt for the U.S. Open are Vijay Singh,
who has played the last 67 straight majors; and Sergio Garcia, who
has not missed a major dating to the 1999 British Open. Garcia has
said he would not go through sectional qualifying.