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Nick Faldo makes it through US Open qualifying

Six-time major winner Nick Faldo birdied the final hole in a three-under-par 69 on Tuesday to secure a spot at next week's U.S. Open after finishing joint first in a sectional qualifying event in Florida.

The 46-year-old Briton was forced to qualify for a major for the first time since 1976, but followed up a 70 on Monday to take one of the three places available from a field of 60 for the 104th Open at Shinnecock Hills in New York.

Faldo joined 763 other players at 13 venues across the United States vying for 79 spots in next week's field.

"I'm very proud of myself," said Faldo, who has won three British Open and three Masters titles.

"Five under par is a blooming good result for this day. I'll definitely go home and crack open a bottle of the good stuff to celebrate this one."

Eleven-time PGA Tour winner John Cook eagled the final hole a few minutes earlier before Faldo to finish on 140 but was bumped from the Open field when the Briton birdied the last.

"It's like playing in the dark when there are no scoreboards out there to tell you where you stand," Faldo added.

"I thought I might have to get it to six-under to get in. But fortunately I made it, and I'm glad I came out here and qualified. It feels really good."

Another player from the European Tour, France's Thomas Levet, also qualified on Tuesday after securing one of the two spots available in Atlanta.

Levet, who lost a five-hole playoff to Ernie Els at the British Open in 2002 at Muirfield, finished on five-under-par in 36-hole sectional qualifying at Ansley Golf Club's Settindown Creek. German Alex Cejka and Swede Daniel Chopra were among the 33 players from 184 to qualify in Ohio on Monday, but Britain's Luke Donald and Sweden's Jesper Parnevik missed out at the same venue.

Other high-profile stars who failed to make the grade included former Open champions Tom Lehman and Mark O'Meara.

Another former champion Tom Kite was attempting to take one of the two spots available in Richmond, Texas, but heavy rain meant qualifying could not be completed until Wednesday.

Kite fired a four-under 68 on Tuesday to hold a share of the lead with 18 holes remaining.

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