May 31st, 2016
Beef qualifies for the US Open
He's never played in the States!
Words: Daniel Owen Photography: Getty Images
US Open qualifying at Walton Heath provided all sorts of drama as Padraig Harrington, three times major champion, bogied the last two holes to miss out on the final place play off by one shot. But whilst Padraig is commiserating, these players can be well chuffed with the result.
Gregory Bourdy won qualifying at -9, shooting a 67 around the New, followed by a 68 around the Old course. He’s joined by Mikael Lundberg of Sweden, Gary Stal and Romain Wattel of France , Alex Noren, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Lee Slattery, Mathew Baldwin, Peter Hanson, and Matteo Manaserro.
Padraig Harrington was right in the mix until two holes to play, bogeying the last two holes to miss the play off for the final spots. Five men played for the final three spots.
Max Kiefer holed his bunker shot on the first play off hole to take one of them. Alex Noren birdied the second play off hole, while Johan Edfors (remember him!) bogeyed to drop out. Seasoned campaigner Jeev Milka Singh was left playing against the Challenge Tour’s Sebastian Soderberg. Both had chances to win on on the third and fourth holes, but Soderberg birdied the fifth to win the final spot and play in his first Major.
Andrew Johnston said of his place in the US Open, “I can’t wait to get out there. I’ve been watching it for 20 years, so it’s exciting. I’ve only played one Major championship before, and I’ve never played in America at all so I’m looking forward to it.
Manaserro is playing his fifth US open at the age of 23. He’s been pretty anonymous out on tour for the last couple of years, but hopefully this will kick him back into gear. “It’s a great feeling and I’m really happy that I’ve made it. It was a big goal for me, I’ve played the US Open three times and I really wanted to go back.
“You’ve played well to get through this, it was really tough out there, so whoever has made it today has played really good golf and has definitely earned it.”
Padraig was not impressed with himself. “We knew what the story was, and it was disappointing to end like that. 17 is tough enough and the tee shot didn’t come back on the wind, and obviously dropping a shot there put me in a precarious place down the last.
“After hitting a good tee shot I hit a nice second shot that looked like it was going to be close but it hit a down slope and ran away, and then I three-putted again, like I did on the 18th this morning, so a very disappointing way to finish.”
The US Open is being played at Oakmont and starts June 16th.