Players rattle to qualify for the second major of the season: The US open
This week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship as well as the Crown Plaza Invitational will play a decisive role in short listing the final contenders who will be participating in the US Open scheduled in June.
The second major of the year, set to start off from June 16-19 at the historic Congressional Country Club Bethesda, Maryland, will be the 111th event and is sanctioned both by the European Tour as well as the PGA Tour. The championship is organized
under the patronage of United States Golf Association (USGA) with a winner’s prize share of $7,500,000.
Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) will automatically qualify for the championship apart from the rest of the players who will have a chance to participate on sponsor’s exemption or being invited to play. Any professional player not
exceeding the USGA Handicap of 1.4 can qualify to be part of the 156-man field of the championship.
Professional golf tournaments with PGA points will be played on three continents this week, including the European Tour in Spain, PGA Tour at the Colonial and the Japan Tour, giving the players in obscurity a chance to improve their rankings for the US Open.
David Toms, who lost to the rampaging K.J.Choi at the Playoff, has soared from 75th position to 46th and will be eligible to play if he is able to retain the spot. Toms has not missed the US Open since 1998.
Japanese golf sensation Ryo Ishikawa, finished tied for 12th in his last venture in the Japan Tour and is currently at 53rd in World ranking. Ishikawa will be participating in the Totoumi Hamamatsu Open this week and will have to finish
at the top to give his rankings a boost since Japan Tour has the least PGA points. He finished tied for 20th in last month’s Masters and has a good chance of breaking into the top 50 before the selection is made for the US Open.
Further down the list is the veteran Vijay Singh, who has the longest streak of 67 consecutive appearances in the majors. He missed the cut at the Players Championship last week to slide down to 59th in world rankings.
Sergio Garcia, who hasn’t missed a major since 1999, is on the verge of losing a qualification for the US Open with his current ranking of 73rd. this is the first time he has to go through the trouble to qualify for the same.
"If I don't qualify, then I don't deserve to play," an honest Garcia said last week.
Australian Aaron Baddeley is ranked 50th for the moment and has done well in season so far. Turning professional in 2000, Baddeley finished tied for 47th in the Masters this year. He is paired with World number one Lee Westwood in this
week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship along with Denmark’s Anders Hansen in the knock-out format of the sport.
Peter Hanson and Gary Woodland are ranked at 48th and 49th respectively and are not playing this week. Upcoming events for the month AT&T National and John Deere Classic will also play a decisive role in the final list of players for
the US Open which will be finalized one week before the event.
It is more than evident that the competitive scale of the sport is more evenly poised after Tiger Woods unilateral domination of the World Rankings and a steep decline afterwards. Four of the recent PGA Tour events have proceeded to the Playoff holes as
the players fight their way up to the top.