Wed, Jun 05, 2013 - Page 19 News List

PGA: Global talent lead US open qualifiers

AFP, ARDMORE, Pennsylvania

Irish amateur Kevin Phelan, Scotland’s Russell Knox and South Korean Kim Bi-o each advanced to next week’s US Open golf championship by setting the pace in qualifying events on Monday.

Eleven sites conducted 36-hole sectional events to book berths in the second major tournament of the year, to be staged from June 13 to June 16 at Merion Golf Club.

Phelan fired a nine-under 135 total to take medalist honors and one of four available spots in Bradenton, Florida.

Kim took the low spot by four strokes at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, California, at 10-under 133 to book his berth at Merion.

At Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, Scotsman Knox, Canada’s Adam Hadwin and American Randall Hutchinson shared the qualifying pace at nine-under 132.

Australian Matthew Goggin was also among eight who made the US Open field from suburban Washington, while the last man in was Sam Saunders, the grandson of legend Arnold Palmer, who finished with back-to-back birdies to make it.

Many other international golfers played their way into the US Open lineup.

Taiwan’s Pan Cheng-tsung, a University of Washington freshman who was second to Chinese teen Guan Tianlang at last year’s Asian Amateur Championship, took the last of two spots on offer at Cle Elm, Washington, in one-under-par 139.

Aussie Alastair Presnall survived a three-man playoff for the last two spots in Memphis, Tennessee.

A day after the PGA Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio, there were 15 spots on offer at nearby Columbus, with PGA veteran Charley Hoffman of the US taking medalist honors at 11-under 133.

Canada’s David Hearn shared second, one stroke back, to book his US Open berth. Sweden’s Robert Karlsson was also on 134 with compatriot David Lingmerth qualifying for his first US Open on 135.

Seven others made it from an 11-man playoff on 136, including Australian Aaron Baddeley, South African Rory Sabbatini and South Korean Bae Sang-moon.

Baddeley birdied the first playoff hole to advance, while Sabbatini and Bae birdied to advance at the second playoff hole, where South Korean Charlie Wi made bogey to miss out.

Canada’s Mike Weir, a former Masters champion, was first alternate.

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