More Australasians earn US Open starts
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 US Open | General | 03 Jun 2014
A further six Australasians have gained starts at next week’s US Open at Pinehurst # 2 courtesy of Sectional qualifying played overnight at ten venues across the USA.
They will join Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden, Matt Jones and Oliver Goss who were exempt from qualifying as a result of performances over the last year or in the case of Ogilvy because he is a former US open Champion.
US based Sydneysider, Aron Price, claimed one of the four spots available at his venue in Vero Beach in Florida, the current NSW Open Champion finishing in 4th position amongst the 55 players involved.
For Price it will be his very first start in a major championship.
In Memphis in Tennessee West Australian Brady Watt will also get to play his first major championship just six months after turning professional. Watt, the former number one Australian Amateur, the leading amateur at last year’s Australian Open and a semi finalist at last year’s US Amateur, finished in a tie for 12th and right on the qualifying score and then survived a playoff with a birdie at the first extra hole with five players competing for two spots.
In Columbus in Ohio where most of the Australasians were attempting to qualify, Rod Pampling, Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley managed to get through,
Pampling finished 4th and Allenby and Baddeley shared 9th position.
New Zealander Steve Alker made it through Sectional Qualifying for the second successive year, having done so last year then made the cut at Merion. Alker finished second at his venue in San Francisco.
New Zealander Danny Lee will be extremely disappointed with his finish today. With seven holes to play at his venue in Ohio he appeared comfortably inside the required mark but then dropped six shots in his last seven holes to miss the playoff for the final spot by three shots.
And so Australasia will field eleven Australians and one New Zealander in the field when the US Open tees off on June 12th.
More then 10,200 entries were taken prior to local qualifying beginning in May and, with 156 to make up the final field, just to have even made it into the championship is an achievement in itself.