COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Luke Donald went two extra holes to join four other players earning a spot in the U.S. Open after a playoff Tuesday morning.
Mission accomplished! This piece of paper means a lot to me! Can't wait to get to Oakmont next week for the US Open. It was a long day yesterday, spent 15 hours at the course waiting to see if my score was good enough to qualify, then had to come back this morning for a playoff to book my spot. I've had to qualify the last 2 years for the US Open, haven't liked it, but somehow making it this way feels pretty damn rewarding. I do want to apologize to the gentleman I hit on the hand on the 6th hole yesterday afternoon. You had left for the clubhouse before I could see how you were and say sorry. If my ball hadn't of hit you on the hand, it would probably have been in a much worse position. I ended up getting up and down for birdie, and that one shot helped me get to the US Open! Sorry and thanks! #USOpenBound
Donald, a former world No. 1 who has been eligible for every U.S. Open since 2005, made two pars in the six-man playoff in the Ohio qualifier that featured the strongest field. The others advancing were Patrick Rodgers, Jason Allred, Richard Schembechler II and Texas Longhorns sophomore Scottie Scheffler.
Daniel Summerhays was eliminated when he missed a 5-foot putt on the second playoff hole. He was the first alternate.
Vijay Singh didn't come close to qualifying in Florida, which didn't finish until Tuesday because of rain. He missed out by nine shots. Aron Price of Australia and Tim Wilkinson led the way, while Sam Horsfield and Matthew Borchert ended a five-man playoff for the last two spots with birdies on the first extra hole.
That completed the 10 sectional qualifiers from coast to coast that offered 55 spots for the U.S. Open, which starts June 16 at Oakmont outside Pittsburgh. Qualifiers previous were held in Japan and England.
The USGA also set aside six spots to accommodate anyone who qualifies by cracking the top 60 in the world ranking after this week. If those spots are not taken, they will be filled from an alternate list.
Schembechler qualified for his first U.S. Open, and what a coincidence that it took place not far from Ohio State. His grandfather was a cousin of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, who won only five times in Columbus.
Carlos Ortiz was the medalist in Columbus, making it into his first U.S. Open despite making only two cuts on the PGA Tour in the last three months. Also getting in was Bryson DeChambeau, who gave up an automatic spot as the U.S. Amateur champion when he chose to turn pro right after the Masters.
Other qualifiers included Wes Short, who drove over from the PGA Tour Champions site in Iowa and qualified at age 52 for his first U.S. Open.
In other sectionals:
- Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise capped off a week he won't forget: He won the NCAA title a week ago Monday, Oregon won its first NCAA title two days later and Wise won the Pacific Northwest qualifier for the U.S. Open.
- The second strongest qualifier was in Tennessee, where 49-year-old David Toms was among 10 players who made it through. Toms is playing his 19th U.S. Open. He tied for fifth at Oakmont in 2007.
- Ryan Stachler, who just finished his sophomore year at South Carolina, was among three qualifiers outside Atlanta.
- Billy Hurley had rounds of 67-68 to lead the three qualifiers from Woodmont in the Maryland sectional.
- In the San Francisco qualifier, USC freshman Justin Suh was among six qualifiers, four of whom also made it through 18-hole local qualifying.