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Davis Love III & Rich Beem make the US Open

Former major champions Davis Love III and Rich Beem had cause to celebrate on Monday while fellow Americans Fred Couples and Tom Lehman missed out on booking places at next week’s U.S. Open.

Big-hitting Love failed to qualify for this year’s Masters but was among 21 players in a field of 140 at Brookside Golf & Country Club and Scarlet Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio who secured spots.

Two more berths from that sectional qualifier will be decided on Tuesday morning when Americans Eric Axley and Rickie Fowler and Canadian Jonathan Mills return to complete a sudden-death playoff.

Beem, who held off a charging Tiger Woods to win the 2002 PGA Championship, was one of two players who came through from Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas.

Love, whose only major victory came in the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot, shot scores of 72 and 66 to qualify for his 18th consecutive U.S. Open.

He finished seven strokes behind Carl Pettersson (64, 67) in the 36-hole qualifier. Pettersson advanced with fellow Swedes Fredrik Jacobson and Jesper Parnevik and Americans Chad Campbell, Bart Bryant and Rocco Mediate, among others.

There was disappointment, though, for former major winners Couples and Lehman, as well as Australia’s Steve Elkington, the 1995 PGA champion.

Former world number one Couples and Lehman failed to qualify at Brookside and Scarlet while Elkington missed out at Shadow Hawk where Beem and Charlie Beljan earned medallist honours.

Britons Ross Fisher and Alastair Forsyth, Swede Johan Edfors and former Ryder Cup player Thomas Levet of France were among seven players to secure Open places at Walton Heath Golf Club on the outskirts of London, England.

Two of the sectional qualifiers this year were international.

Ibaraki Country Club in Osaka, Japan hosted a two-round qualifier last Monday, with Australian Craig Parry and Artemio Murakami of the Philippines securing the two spots available.

Seventy-two players were already exempt for the U.S. Open and a further 83 spots were up for grabs in sectional qualifying at 14 venues Monday.

The U.S. Open will be staged for the first time at Torrey Pines where Argentina’s Angel Cabrera will defend the title he won last year by a shot at Oakmont Country Club


June 3, 2008

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