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Gregory Bourdy leads US Open qualification

May 31, 2016

Gregory Bourdy of France shot 67-68 at Walton Heath on Monday and led 13 players who earned spots at the U.S. Open qualifier in England.

Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington seemed certain to join them until the Irishman finished bogey-bogey, three-putting the 18th green, to miss the playoff by one shot. This will be the third straight year Harrington misses the U.S. Open.

''We knew what the story was, and it was disappointing to end like that,'' Harrington said.

Bourdy was the medalist at 9-under 135.

Joining him at Oakmont on June 16-19 will be former Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson of Sweden, who is returning from injury, and Matteo Manassero, the 23-year-old Italian who has fallen to No. 887 in the world.

The other qualifiers were Mikael Lundberg, Sebastian Soderberg and Alex Noren of Sweden, Lee Slattery, Matthew Baldwin and Andrew Johnston of England, Gary Stal and Romain Wattel of France, Soren Hansen of Denmark and Max Kieffer of Germany.

Hansen, another former Ryder Cup player, opened with a 67 and followed with a 75 to wind up in a five-man playoff for the final three spots that included Soderberg, Kieffer, Johan Edfors and Jeev Milkha Singh.

Kieffer holed a bunker shot on the first extra hole and Hansen got in with a birdie on the next hole. Edfors dropped out with a bogey, and then Soderberg got the final spot with a birdie on the fifth extra hole.

Also failing to qualify was Thomas Pieters of Belgium, who is No. 65 in the world and narrowly missed out on being exempt last week as top 60.

Lundberg will be making his major championship debut, while Johnston will be playing in America for the first time.

''It's the first time I've ever even tried to qualify and I made it, and I've never even played a major championship before so it's going to be great,'' Lundberg said. ''It's been a lifelong dream of mine to play just one, and I was talking to my caddie and saying we might even do a Michael Campbell and win. You never know.''

Campbell won the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 after qualifying through the England section in 2005. Lucas Glover in 2009 at Bethpage Black was the last U.S. Open champion to come through sectional qualifying.

The rest of the qualifying for the U.S. Open will be June 6 at 10 sectional sites in America.

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