Qualifying far from over, sectionals still to go
By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press
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, June 3. 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.