Peter Uihlein, 4 others earn US Open spots in playoffs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Peter Uihlein suddenly faces at least a three-week stretch in America, and it starts with the U.S. Open.
Uihlein, the former U.S. Amateur champion playing on the European Tour, birdied the first extra hole in a 4-for-3 playoff Tuesday morning that determined the last of 14 spots from the 36-hole qualifier in Columbus.
Uihlein hit wedge to 5 feet for birdie on the 10th hole of The Lakes to advance. Talor Gooch and Scottie Scheffler made birdie on the fourth extra hole to get the other two spots. It was the second straight year that Scheffler, who just finished his junior year at Texas, earned a U.S. Open spot through a playoff at sectional qualifying.
J.T. Poston was the medalist from Columbus, not making a bogey until his 36th hole.
Columbus offered the most spots of the 10 sectional qualifiers because of all the PGA Tour players still in town after the Memorial. The next largest was in Tennessee because of the FedEx St. Jude Classic this week.
Steve Stricker led the ninth qualifier, earning a spot in his home state of Wisconsin as it hosts a U.S. Open for the first time. The U.S. Open starts June 15 at Erin Hills, a public course built on pristine pastureland that opened in 2006.
The Tennessee qualifier also required a playoff on Tuesday morning among five players seeking two spots. Those went to Jonathan Randolph and Xander Schauffele.
The sectional qualifiers put the field at 150 players, leaving six spots available in case anyone qualifies by being among the top 60 in the world ranking after this week. No more than three players not already exempt have a mathematical chance to get in the top 60. That means at least three alternates from qualifying will get in, a list that includes Dru Love, the son of Davis Love III.
The USGA has not decided the order of alternates from the 12 qualifiers (including England and Japan). Those are based on how many spots each sectional offered and the strength of field.
Uihlein, meanwhile, was given a sponsor exemption to play in the Memorial. He also is playing on an exemption this week at the St. Jude Classic as he tries to earn enough FedEx Cup points to earn a PGA Tour card for next year.