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. 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 Aaron

Baddeley and Rory Sabbatini. Anders Hansen 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 USGA 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.