Garcia ekes way into US Open; Singh misses
Sergio Garcia’s long streak of appearances in majors looks set
to continue after surviving a seven-man playoff in Monday’s
qualifying for the U.S. Open while Vijay Singh’s even longer streak
Garcia, who has fallen to No. 75 in the world, said only last
month that he wouldn’t go through qualifying, but he changed his
mind and had rounds of 68-67 at Tunica National in Memphis,
Tennessee, claiming one of the four spots shared between the seven
men in the playoff.
His appearance at Congressional this months for the U.S. Open
will extend his streak in the majors to 47 straight. This was the
first time since turning pro in 1999 that Garcia had to
Singh also changed his mind about qualifying, and elected not to
take part. His run of 67 consecutive majors – dating to the 1994
U.S. Open at Oakmont – is over.
His only other chance of getting into the major was via a top
finish in the St. Jude Classic this week, but the PGA website said
he was no longer in that field.
Those were the two biggest developments on a day of big hopes,
with 11 sectional qualifiers in 10 states. No other major fills
half its field with anyone willing to give it a try.
Among those who got into the U.S. Open, which starts June 16,
– Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, who made it
through a playoff and is going to the U.S. Open for the first time.
His grandfather won in 1960, and Palmer tied for fifth in 1964 when
the Open first went to Congressional.
– Steve Irwin, the son of three-time U.S. Open champion Hale
Irwin, was among four qualifiers in California.
– Fred Funk, who will be 55 on Tuesday of the U.S. Open.
Just as noteworthy were some of the players who failed to
qualify. The list included a trio of U.S. Open champions – Steve
Jones, Lee Janzen and Tom Kite – and a trio of British Open
champions: Justin Leonard, David Duval and Ben Curtis.
”It’s entirely worth it,” Duval said. ”You can’t win the golf
tournament if you’re not in it. So I guess I’m not going to win it
College freshman Patrick Cantlay was among the 16 qualifiers in
Columbus, which offered the most spots because it had the biggest
field that was filled mostly with PGA Tour players. Cantlay, who
wrapped up a sensational first season that earned him the Jack
Nicklaus Award as the top college player, had rounds of 65-70.
Brandt Jobe, a runner-up by one shot at the Memorial on Sunday,
joined Chez Reavie as co-medalists in Columbus.
Others who qualified in Columbus were Robert Garrigus, Marc
Turnesa, John Senden, D.A. Points, Marc Leishman, Kevin Chappell,
Adam Long, Justin Hicks, Nick O’Hern and Chris Wilson. Tim
Petrovic, Scott Hend and Webb Simpson were part of a six-man
playoff for three spots. Among those who got bumped out of the
playoff were former Ryder Cup players J.J. Henry and Brett
Gary Woodland called officials to withdraw. He moved up to No.
41 in the world ranking after his sixth-place finish at the
Memorial, and is sure to stay in the top 50 next week to get into
the U.S. Open.
Others who failed to earn spots out of Columbus were Rocco
Mediate, Sean O’Hair and Bob Hope winner Jhonattan Vegas.
Several other tour players were in Memphis, where amateur Bill
Cauley shared medalist honors with Sunghoon Kang, a tour rookie
from South Korea.
Chad Campbell appeared to be safe until a bogey on the final
hole dropped him into a seven-man playoff for four spots. He still
won a spot, however, along with Brian Gay, Briny Baird and
Among those who didn’t qualify in Memphis were former PGA
champion Rich Beem, Stephen Ames, Chris DiMarco and Boo Weekley,
who withdrew after his first 18 holes.
This was the second time in three years that Funk has qualified.
Among the other nine players who qualified in Rockville, Maryland
were Ty Tryon, three-time tour winner Kirk Triplett and former U.S.
Amateur champion Bubba Dickerson.
S.Y. Noh of South Korea, a rising star on the Asian Tour, earned
one of two spots from Springfield, Ohio.