Top names make it through US Open qualifying
Geoff Ogilvy of Australia shot rounds of 67 and 64 on Monday to capture medalist honors at one of 13 U.S. Open sectional qualifiers -- including the first ever held in England.
Ogilvy, who earned his first PGA Tour victory in February at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, opened with a 5-under 67 at Brookside Golf and Country Club and followed with an 8-under 64 at The Lakes Golf and Country Club. Both courses are just a few miles from where Ogilvy finished tied for 17th at the Memorial.
Dozens of touring pros participated in the qualifier in suburban Columbus, sticking around the day after the Memorial. The qualifier annually has more name players -- and offers more spots in the Open -- than most others.
``Yesterday I played awful at Muirfield,'' said Ogilvy, who closed with a 3-over 75 at the Memorial. ``But it's more penal at Muirfield at than it is on these two courses.''
Ogilvy played in a field that included 143 other players competing for 20 spots in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in two weeks.
For the first time, the U.S. Golf Association placed qualifiers overseas.
Three players earned spots on May 30 at a 36-hole qualifier in Ono City, Japan. On Monday, European tour player Peter Hanson and New Zealand's Michael Campbell were among nine qualifiers at Walton Heath in Tadworth, England. Among those who failed to make it were former British Open champion Paul Lawrie, who had to qualify for the first time since his stunning victory at Carnoustie in 1999.
``Even our own tour is trying to get more of the international players over here,'' said Tom Meeks, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition. ``We were losing a lot of players because they didn't want to come over here to try (to qualify). So this makes sense.''
Joining Ogilvy among the qualifiers at the Westerville site were fellow pros Scott McCarron (11-under 133), John Rollins (133), former Masters champion Bernhard Langer (134) and John Cook (135).
Also making the U.S. Open field at 8-under 136, were Ted Purdy, Robert Gamez, Arron Oberholser, John Merrick, Carl Pettersson, Bob Tway, Bill Glasson, Euan Walters and Joe Ogilvie.
Seven players at 137 had to go to a playoff to determine the six remaining qualifying spots. Frank Lickliter, Brandt Jobe, Bob Estes, Steve Lowery, Eric Axley and Sal Spallone survived the two-hole playoff, with Philip Price bogeying the second hole to become first alternate.
Among those who failed to qualify were former PGA Championship winners Paul Azinger and Jeff Sluman, British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia and two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, along with Aaron Baddeley, Brad Faxon and Jesper Parnevik.
A year ago, the qualifier at Brookside and The Lakes drew 184 players who had to sit through lengthy delays while the massive field slogged through the two rounds. Many pros were extremely critical of the USGA for permitting so many players in the qualifier.
``It was a bad deal last year having that many players,'' Meeks said. ``There was a lot of grumbling. We deserved it.''
To alleviate that problem, the USGA created a ``spillover'' qualifier comprised entirely of players who had survived local qualifying. Seventeen players played 36 holes at nearby Double Eagle Club where Patrick Damron won the spot by beating Kevin Gessino-Kraft with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
In other qualifiers:
-- Play at East Lake in Atlanta was suspended until Tuesday, with players only getting in 18 holes because of weather. Among those vying for spots are former U.S. Amateur champions Matt Kuchar and Nick Flanagan.
-- At Glen Ellyn, Ill., Jerry Smith and Jim Benepe captured the only two places, with four amateurs finishing just behind them.
-- Wil Collins of Rapid City, S.D., was the lone qualifier at Columbine Country Club in Littleton, Colo.
-- The medalist at the TPC at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, was amateur Trip Kuehne. He was low amateur at the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields and the runner-up in the 1994 U.S. Amateur to Tiger Woods. Also qualifying was Kyle Willmann in a one-hole playoff.
-- There were two qualifiers in Rockville, Md., not far from this week's Booz Allen Classic at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The biggest qualifier which had the most Open berths and pros competing was postponed until Tuesday by inclement weather.
-- In the spillover qualifer at nearby Chevy Chase, Paul Claxton grabbed the only spot among 16 players, which included Sean O'Hair.
-- In Snoqualmie, Wash., Troy Kelly shot 70-68 to easily grab the lone spot. NCAA champion James Lepp was among those six shots behind.
-- Len Mattiace, J.L. Lewis and J.J. Henry were among the six players who qualified at Canoe Brook in Summit, N.J. Michael Allen was the medalist. Steve Allan of Australia and Chris Nallen, who won the New Jersey State Amateur at Canoe Brook four years ago, also qualifed.
This years news archive | Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page