Liang wins U.S. Open sectional in Japan
Monday, May 26, 2014
Wen-Chong Liang, the only Chinese golfer to ever crack the top 100 in the OWGR, fired rounds of 67-66 to win the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at the par-71 Nara International Golf Club in Japan on Monday.
It'll be Liang's first appearance in the U.S. Open. He owns one European Tour victory, 19 professional victories, while also winning the China Amateur three consecutive years between 1996-1998. He has U.S. major experience, finishing T-8 at the 2008 PGA Championship, including a course-record 64 in the third round.
Liang will be the second Chinese golfer to play in the U.S. Open after 14-year-old Andy Zhang qualified in 2012 at Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Liang will be joined by Kiyoshi Miyazato, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Toru Taniguchi, Azuma Yano and David Oh at next month's championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
Miyazato, who held the lead before a double bogey on No. 18, will join his younger sister, Ai, at Pinehurst. Kyoshi will be playing in his first men's Open, while Ai will play in her 10th U.S. Women's Open the following week. She has 25 worldwide victories and has 10 top-10 finishes in majors. Kiyoshi has one career pro victory, at the 2004 Asia Japan Okinawa Open.
Yano and Oh secured the final two spots in a six-hole, sudden-death playoff with Kazuhiro Yamashita and Hideto Tanihara. Oh is a former USC standout who grew up in California, only to take his pro career to Asia.
Yamashita lost an automatic bid with a bogey on No. 18 in regulation.
The men's U.S. Open will be held June 12-15, while the women will play on June 19-22.
– Information from the USGA was used in this report.