Kentuckian J.B. Holmes was among those who qualified Monday to play in next week's U.S. Open Championship at Bethpage Black. Holmes shot 134 for 36 holes in Columbus, Ohio. Others qualifying in Columbus included David Duval and Tom Lehman.
David Duval is returning to the U.S. Open,
while Danny Lee missed a shot at earning the spot he surrendered.
Duval, absent from the last two Opens, made the grade Monday in
the 36-hole sectional qualifier at Brookside and The Lakes courses.
The 121-player field included 61 PGA Tour players. Many were coming
off four grueling days at the Memorial Tournament but figured it
was worth it to get to play at Bethpage Black in two weeks.
"You look at what's at the other side of it," said Duval, who
hasn't won since the 2001 British Open. "You don't have much of a
chance to win if you don't tee it up on Thursday there."
Lee had earned an automatic U.S. Open berth last summer by
becoming the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Amateur. But when
he turned pro this spring, he was forced to give up his spot. He
shot a 3-under 69 in the morning at the Lakes and then an even-par
72 at Brookside in the afternoon.
Asked if he was disappointed, the South Korean-born, New
Zealand-raised 19-year-old said, "A little bit, but that's golf. I
need to practice harder and hopefully I'll do better."
Tom Lehman, who picked up $18,600 for finishing tied for 45th at
Muirfield Village on Sunday, held up the packet given to each of
the Open qualifiers and said, "This is worth way more than the
paycheck from yesterday at the Memorial."
Two amateurs were among the 17 players grabbing spots in the
Open at the Columbus sectional. Kyle Stanley, a Clemson golfer who
was second in the NCAA medalist race last week, shared medalist
honors with pro George McNeil at 12-under 132. Stanley had 10
birdies and no bogeys in a 62 at The Lakes in the morning.
"Make par and don't make any big numbers," Stanley said of his
approach to the second 18. "I knew I didn't have to really shoot a
great number to get through."
Other qualifiers included Bo Van Pelt, James Kamte, Lucas
Glover, Charl Schwartzel, all at 133; 1996 British Open champion
Lehman, J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore (134); and Matthew Bettencourt,
John Mallinger, Oklahoma State collegian and amateur Rickie Fowler,
Ben Crane, Craig Bowden and Ricky Barnes (135).