DUBLIN, Ohio – Matteo Manassero and Boo Weekley qualified for the U.S. Open by winning on separate tours. Manassero earned an exemption by winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, while Weekley's win at Colonial moved him into the top 60 in the world.
That means 78 players are exempt from qualifying, the highest number to earn exemptions since 80 players in 2006. That includes 2010, when the 78 players who didn't have to qualify included Tom Watson and Vijay Singh, who were given special invitations.
Even with half the field qualifying, it's still the most ''open'' of the major championships. Seventeen players already made it through section qualifying in Europe (12 players) and Japan (5 players). That leaves 61 spots still available.
Still be to be determined is how many spots will be dispersed in sectional qualifiers across the United States on Monday. The USGA will have to leave a couple of spots available for players (if any) who move into the top 60 by the week of the U.S. Open. On the bubble are Jimmy Walker (No. 62) and Byron Nelson winner Sang-Moon Bae (No. 65), along with Charles Howell III (No. 68).
One player who qualified and will not be at Merion on June 13-16 is David Lynn of England. He is exempt as being top 60 in the world, but has told the USGA he will not be playing because of a vacation he already booked.
CHANGE OF DIVERSION: Laura Davies stayed last week with the rest of the LPGA Tour in Atlantis Resort [for the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic] with its large casino. For those wondering how she ever pulled herself away to get to the golf course, Davies had a surprise.
''I don't like casinos. I don't go anymore,'' she said. ''I'd rather bet on the horses and football. I'll walk through it to get to breakfast. And I might go in one night this week'' [in Atlantic City, where she is playing the ShopRite Classic]. Why did she give up on the casinos? The answer was vintage Davies.
''I don't win anymore,'' she said.
DIVOTS: Jordan Spieth tied for seventh at the Colonial and now has $905,873, the equivalent of No. 51 on the PGA Tour money list. The 19-year-old Texan, who started the season with no status on tour, is a lock to have a full PGA Tour card when the 2013-14 season starts in October. But he can't participate in the FedExCup playoffs unless he wins a tournament. ... Matt Kuchar has agreed to play in the French Open, two weeks before the British Open. ... Caroline Powers of Michigan State has been selected to receive the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to the female college golfer who has at least a 3.2 GPA and has a scoring average of 78.0 or better while playing in at least 50 percent of her team's tournaments.
STAT OF THE WEEK: South Africa has seven of the top 10 players in the Presidents Cup standings.
FINAL WORD: ''Golf is a funny game. It comes and goes. Sometimes it seems like the harder you try, the further away it gets.'' - Geoff Ogilvy.