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Luke Donald qualifies for US Open

June 8, 2016

Luke Donald went two extra holes to join four other players earning a spot in the U.S. Open after a playoff Tuesday morning.

Donald, a former world No. 1 who has been eligible for every U.S. Open since 2005, made two pars in the six-man playoff in the Ohio qualifier that featured the strongest field. The others advancing were Patrick Rodgers, Jason Allred, Richard Schembechler II and Texas Longhorns sophomore Scottie Scheffler.

Daniel Summerhays was eliminated when he missed a 5-foot putt on the second playoff hole. He was the first alternate.

Vijay Singh didn't come close to qualifying in Florida, which didn't finish until Tuesday because of rain. He missed out by nine shots. Aron Price of Australia and Tim Wilkinson led the way, while Sam Horsfield and Matthew Borchert ended a five-man playoff for the last two spots with birdies on the first extra hole.

That completed the 10 sectional qualifiers from coast to coast that offered 55 spots for the U.S. Open, which starts June 16 at Oakmont outside Pittsburgh. Qualifiers previous were held in Japan and England.

The USGA also set aside six spots to accommodate anyone who qualifies by cracking the top 60 in the world ranking after this week. If those spots are not taken, they will be filled from an alternate list.

Schembechler qualified for his first U.S. Open, and what a coincidence that it took place not far from Ohio State. His grandfather was a cousin of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, who won only five times in Columbus.

Carlos Ortiz was the medalist in Columbus, making it into his first U.S. Open despite making only two cuts on the PGA Tour in the last three months. Also getting in was Bryson DeChambeau, who gave up an automatic spot as the U.S. Amateur champion when he chose to turn pro right after the Masters.

Other qualifiers included Wes Short, who drove over from the PGA Tour Champions site in Iowa and qualified at age 52 for his first U.S. Open.

In other sectionals:

- Three of the four qualifiers from the smaller Ohio section were college players, including Illinois teammates Nick Hardy and Charlie Danielson.

- Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise capped off a week he won't forget: He won the NCAA title a week ago Monday, Oregon won its first NCAA title two days later and Wise won the Pacific Northwest qualifier for the U.S. Open.

- The second strongest qualifier was in Tennessee, where 49-year-old David Toms was among 10 players who made it through. Toms is playing his 19th U.S. Open. He tied for fifth at Oakmont in 2007.

- Shell Houston Open winner Jim Herman and 36-year-old tour rookie Rob Oppenheim were among six qualifiers at Canoe Brook in New Jersey.

- Ryan Stachler, who just finished his sophomore year at South Carolina, was among three qualifiers outside Atlanta.

- Billy Hurley had rounds of 67-68 to lead the three qualifiers from Woodmont in the Maryland sectional.

- Kevin Tway, the son of 1986 PGA champion Bob Tway, was among three qualifiers in Houston.

- In the San Francisco qualifier, USC freshman Justin Suh was among six qualifiers, four of whom also made it through 18-hole local qualifying.

Luke Donald in US Open Qualifying play off

June 7, 2016

Rookie Bryson DeChambeau earned a spot at the U.S. Open on Monday after coming through the final stage of qualifying but former world number one Luke Donald will have to return early on Tuesday for a playoff.

The final 55 spots for the June 16-19 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, just outside of Pittsburgh, were up for grabs at 10 sectional sites across the country.

Donald finished in a six-way tie for ninth after rounds of 68 and 69, and will compete for one of five spots available in a sudden-death playoff on Tuesday in Powell, Ohio.

Most of the 103 players at the Wedgewood and Kinsale courses consisted of PGA Tour players, who competed at the nearby Memorial last week. There were 13 spots available.

The 22-year-old DeChambeau had gained a U.S. Open exemption when he won last year's U.S. Amateur but forfeited that spot when he turned professional a week after the 2016 Masters.

DeChambeau (70-63) finished joint second in the Ohio sectional, one shot behind Carlos Ortiz (66-66).

2014 U.S. Open runner-up Erik Compton, Aaron Baddeley and Camilo Villegas were among those who failed to qualify. K.J. Choi withdrew after an opening 71, as did Stuart Appleby after a 74.

Former PGA Championship winner David Toms (66-69) was one of 10 qualifiers in Memphis, Tennessee.

Houston Open winner Jim Herman posted rounds 67 and 70 for a nine-under total to tie 36-year-old American professional Rob Oppenheim, also with scores of 67 and 70, and finish top of the sectional qualifying in Summit, New Jersey.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (72-70) missed out on one of the six spots in New Jersey.

Players will return to the course in Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday after play was suspended due to darkness. Vijay Singh is in the hunt for one of the qualifying spots.




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