Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson qualify for US Open

golf04 June 2024 06:12| © Reuters
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Webb Simpson © Getty Images

PGA Tour veteran Matt Kuchar and 2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson successfully qualified for this year's US Open the old-fashioned way.

Kuchar and Simpson were among those who locked up their spots in this month's major championship via final qualifying on Monday, often called "Golf's Longest Day."

A total of 672 players competed in 36-hole qualifiers at locations around the United States and Canada to try to earn one of 44 available spots into the field at the US Open, to be played June 13-16 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No 2) in North Carolina.

Kuchar, 45, was the medalist at his qualifying site. He shot rounds of 70 and 67 at The Bear's Club in Jupiter, Fla., to go 7 under for the day.

While Kuchar has never won a major, he has nine wins on the PGA Tour and once rated as high as No 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. However, due to a lack of recent success, he did not qualify for any exemptions into the US Open field.

Simpson's exemption for winning the 2012 US Open expired after 2022, though he also got into the 2023 field. He hasn't made a cut at a major since the 2022 PGA Championship.

On Monday, Simpson recorded a 67 and a 69 at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., which tied him for fourth, two shots behind medalist Frankie Capan III. Simpson finished one stroke above a 7-for-2 playoff that determined the final two of the site's seven berths. Carter Jenkins and Harry Higgs won those spots via the playoff.

Australia's Adam Scott is in danger of missing the US Open, which would end the longest active streak of major starts in the sport. He has played in every major since the 2001 Open Championship, a stretch of 91 straight. However, he is not currently exempt for this year's edition.

On Monday, he followed an opening-round 64 with a second-round 69 to get to 7 under at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club, but he wound up in a 2-for-1 playoff against countryman Cam Davis.

Scott chipped in for birdie on the first playoff hole, but Davis responded by sinking his birdie putt. After both players parred the second hole, Davis made a 3-foot birdie putt to beat Scott and earn Springfield's final berth.

However, there is one more chance for Scott to receive an exemption. Anyone in the top 60 of the OWGR as of June 10 will be invited if not already eligible. Scott enters the week at exactly No 60, and he will not play in the Memorial later this week.

LIV Golf member Dean Burmester of South Africa tied for second in Florida, one stroke behind Kuchar. However, fellow LIV player Joaquin Niemann of Chile finished one stroke out of a 3-for-1 playoff for the fifth and final spot.

Niemann, once ranked in the top 15 in the world, is on track to miss the US Open unless the USGA extends a special exemption to him. The PGA of America gave Niemann a special invite to last month's PGA Championship, where he tied for 39th.

Spaniard David Puig, a LIV golfer, earned medalist honours at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif.

The players who qualified on Monday – (a) denotes amateur:

Ridgeway, Ontario – Mark Hubbard, Adam Svensson of Canada, Rico Hoey, Davis Thompson, Greyson Sigg, Aaron Rai of England, Ashton McCulloch of Canada (a)

Rockville, Md. – Tim Widing of Sweden, Isaiah Salinda, Wells Williams (a)

Summit, N.J. – Benjamin James (a), Max Greyserman, Andrew Svoboda, Jim Herman

Jupiter, Fla. – Matt Kuchar, Daniel Berger, Dean Burmester of South Africa, Luke Clanton (a), Willie Mack III

Alpharetta, Ga. – Jackson Buchanan (a), Chris Petefish, Frederik Kjettrup of Denmark (a)

Durham, N.C. – Frankie Capan III, Brian Campbell, Sam Bennett, Chesson Hadley, Webb Simpson, Carter Jenkins, Harry Higgs

Columbus, Ohio – Justin Lower, Seamus Power of Ireland, Brendon Todd, Gunnar Broin (a), Chris Naegel

Springfield, Ohio – Zac Blair, Beau Hossler, Carson Schaake, Cam Davis of Australia

Daly City, Calif. – David Puig of Spain, Omar Morales of Mexico (a), John Chin, Charles Reiter

Bend, Ore. – Joey Vrzich, Colin Prater (a)