Wednesday 26 October 2016

Andrew Johnston and Lee Slattery book US Open places at Walton Heath

Published 30/05/2016 | 21:26

Andrew Johnston's fine form has earned him a place at the US Open
Andrew Johnston's fine form has earned him a place at the US Open

English pair Andrew Johnston and Lee Slattery were among 13 players to win places at next month's US Open after finishing behind French winner Gregory Bourdy at the international sectional qualifier at Walton Heath.

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Ireland's three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, announced last week as one of Darren Clarke's vice-captains for this year's Ryder Cup, bogeyed his final two holes to miss out on the deciding play-off by one shot.

Johnston delighted local crowds by clinching his spot in what will be his debut tournament in America, the 27-year-old continuing to ride the wave that brought him a maiden European Tour title in Spain last month and a top 10 finish in his home event, the BMW PGA Championship.

Slattery also qualified after two rounds of 69, the 37-year-old marking a return to the US Open having previously teed it up in 2012 at the Olympic Club, also the venue when Matthew Baldwin - another to win qualification - last appeared in the tournament.

Bourdy sealed a return to the US Open after finishing two shots clear of Sweden's Mikael Lundberg.

Four-time European Tour winner Bourdy had hinted at having rediscovered his best form with strong finishes in Ireland and at Wentworth in the last two weeks, and the 34-year-old followed a five-under-par 67 around the New Course in the morning with a four-under-par 68 around the Old Course to head the 13 players earning spots at Oakmont Country Club.

Lundberg, a three-time European Tour winner, will make his major Championship debut after finishing on seven-under-par overall in cold and blustery conditions in Surrey.

Bourdy's compatriots Gary Stal and Romain Wattel, Ryder Cup hero Peter Hanson, Italy's Matteo Manassero, Max Kieffer, who holed from the bunker on the first hole of a five-man play-off to determine the final three qualifiers, Soren Hansen and Sebastian Soderberg also qualified.

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