After an early tee time on a cold, wet and miserable Bank Holiday Monday *cough Winkle 41pts…moving on* a handful of Swashbucklers headed on over to an unsurprisingly wet, cold and miserable Walton Health for the US Open Qualifiers.
The awesome Walton Heath has old and new courses, which, for the qualifier asks the field to play all 36 holes in one day with the fairways open to spectators as they stroll around following the pros and getting really close to the shots. From a good early vantage spot in the middle of the course, we saw a few players come though, then we split up to follow Ross Fisher and David Howell. Fisher was playing well hitting eagles and birdies for fun (very nifty with a 3W and hybrid), but a few 6foot misses as the weather picked up cost him in the second round from an early promising first round. David Howell didnt have any luck and didnt enjoy the greens much either.
Following this group we managed to see Olazabal, Shane Lowry, Eduardo Mollinari, big Robert Karlsson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and wee Andy Sullivan amongst others. Despite the driving rain, it was a cracking event being able to see the ball flights, play style and mannerisms of tour pros literally as you walk side by side up the fairways from tee to green.
Shane Lowry took his excellent form at the PGA Champs at Wentworth to take the overall win with rounds of 69 and 67.
A total of 105 players turned out in hope of winning one of 14 spots on offer, plus two alternates. Those to automatically win a spot were Swede Niclas Fasth, Englishmen Simon Griffiths and Graeme Storm, Germans Marcel Siem and Max Kieffer, Scotsman Chris Doak, South African Garth Mulroy and American Brooks Koepka.
Six players had to play off for the final four spots. England’s Oliver Fisher, Italian Andrea Pavan and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard all made birdie at the first extra hole to claim the first three places, and the last to make the grade was Tom Lewis, courtesy of a 30 foot putt, leaving Morten Madsen and Danny Willett as alternates.
Read More at the European Tour webpage (opens in new tab/window)
Qualifier results (PDF, opens in new tab/window))
How do I qualify for the US Open? (opens in new tab/window)
Managed to make use of a member’s guest ticket towards the end of the day and stroll around the clubhouse, side by side with members and tour pros. A great club house, helped by the first captain being a King! As I made use of the facilities in the changing room nodding to the pros (as you do?), Scottish Mick took a snap of Ollie… no way would I have been brave enough to use a camera in there!
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