Wiesberger's US Open Consolation
Bernd Wiesberger’s anguish at losing his home Lyoness Open in overtime on Sunday turned into delight a day later when he snuck into the field for this week’s 114th US Open at Pinehurst No.2.
The Austrian watched in disbelief as Swede Mikael Lunberg holed an improbable 40-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Wiesberger had a shorter birdie putt himself on the first extra hole, the water guarded par 3 18th, but his attempt slid by and with it went his chance to defend the European Tour title.
But the runner-up performance had an upside with the Austrian moving up nine spots in the official world rankings to 60th place when the new list was released Monday – right on the bubble for full exemption into the US Open which begins on Thursday.
The 28-year-old will be playing his first US Open and is joined in the field for the year’s second major by Korean-born, Las Vegas-based Kevin Na (below). The 30-year-old, who is ranked No.40, will be making his fourth US Open appearance and will be out to top his 29th placing at the 2012 major at The Olympic Club. Na recently finished second at the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament and has five top-10 finishes this season.
The USGA held five spots in the field for those players who could potentially qualify by being in the current top 60 of the OWGR. Since Na and Wiesberger were the only players to earn an exemption, three alternates from sectional qualifying were added to the field. They are Craig Barlow and amateurs Cameron Wilson and Brandon McIver.
Barlow was the first alternate from the Daly City, Calif., sectional. He will play in his sixth US Open. His best finish was a tie for 26th at Winged Foot Golf Club in 2006. Barlow also played in the 2005 Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
Wilson, the 2014 NCAA Division I individual champion, was the first alternate from the Purchase, N.Y., sectional. He made a birdie putt on the sixth playoff hole in qualifying to earn the spot. Wilson, who earned first-team All-America honors at Stanford University this year, is playing in his second U.S. Open after missing the cut in 2012 at The Olympic Club…
McIver, a rising junior at the University of Oregon, was the first alternate from the Creswell, Ore., sectional. He is playing in his first Open.
There were 111 U.S. Open local qualifying sites that led to 12 sectionals, including international sites in Japan and England on May 26. Sectional qualifying in the United States took place at 10 sites on June 2.