U.S. Open sectional recap: Steve Stricker medals in Memphis to reach U.S. Open anyway

US Open 2017-Steve Stricker Getty Images

U.S. Open sectional recap: Steve Stricker medals in Memphis to reach U.S. Open anyway

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U.S. Open sectional recap: Steve Stricker medals in Memphis to reach U.S. Open anyway

Here is a recap of the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Memphis, Tenn. For complete coverage of all U.S. Open sectionals, click here.

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Memphis, Tenn.

Germantown Country Club (Par 71); Ridgeway Country Club (Par 71)

Nine spots available

Scores

MEDALIST: Steve Stricker is coming home. The native of Wisconsin opened in 67 at Ridgeway and came home in 65 at Germantown to post 10 under and earn the top spot by one shot. Stricker, 50, of course qualifies then for a U.S. Open at Erin Hills, a site he’s said he’s likely to commute to daily for the championship as he lives just over an hour away.

What makes this even cooler? Stricker was denied a USGA special exemption to an Open in his home state, and then he just went out there and earned the spot anyway. A savage like Steve Stricker doesn’t need an exemption! He’s in, and Stricker has spoken in-depth about how much playing in an Open in Wisconsin would mean.

Now, it’s a reality. This will be Stricker’s 20th U.S. Open. He has four previous top-10 finishes in the event, with a solo fifth at the 1999 U.S. Open being his best showing.

ALSO QUALIFYING: We have a Tuesday morning update here.

A five-for-two playoff for the last pair of qualifying spots from this sectional was reduced to three-for-two before darkness settled in Monday night. A significant weather delay late in the day pushed the finish back, and the playoff ensured that all wouldn’t be done until Tuesday.

Whee Kim, Xander Schauffele and Jonathan Randolph fought for the final two spots when the playoff resumed Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern at Germantown Country Club. PGA Tour winner Scott Brown and incoming Alabama signee Davis Shore have been eliminated from the playoff already. Schauffele and Randolph advanced from the playoff, with Kim the final player to be eliminated.

Onto those who officially advanced, Monday…

Remember Andres Romero? The Argentine, a one-time PGA Tour winner, goes 67-66 to tie for second at 9 under. For Romero, who lost his PGA Tour card after the 2014-15 season, this will be his first start in a major since the ’15 U.S. Open. Troy Merritt, Chez Reavie and Harris English – all PGA Tour winners – all tie for second as well to advance. The final T-2 finisher to qualify for the Open is Garrett Osborn, a former All-American at UAB. Osborn, of Birmingham, Ala., was a regular on the Web.com Tour from 2008-10 but struggled with injuries in subsequent years. He hasn’t yet made it made back full-time to the Web.com Tour, but he can now say he’s qualified for his first major championship.

Trey Mullinax, a key member of Alabama’s 2013 and ’14 national title squads, comes in at 8 under for solo seventh and the third-to-last qualifying spot (and the last one determined Monday). Mullinax is currently a PGA Tour member, having made half his cuts in 18 starts in 2016-17. This will mark his first appearance in a major championship.

ALTERNATES: Kim is the first alternate with Brown the second. Shore is the only one from the playoff not to earn a U.S. Open or alternate spot. Shore was the first one eliminated from the playoff, which is why he doesn’t even earn alternate status.

MISSED OUT: Davis Riley, currently at Alabama and a future teammate of Shore’s, posts at 6 under to come up a shot short of that playoff. PGA Tour player Andres Gonzales also comes in at that number. PGA Tour winners Mark Wilson, Matt Jones, Brian Gay, Ken Duke and Brendon Todd all finish at 5 under. So does PGA Tour player Willy Wilcox. Oh, and let’s round out that 5-under group with two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen. Sam Burns, one of the favorites for the Haskins Award presented by Stifel, finishes at 3 under. Braden Thornberry, another Haskins favorite and the 2017 NCAA individual champion, posts at 2 under. Ben Crane, John Peterson and Shawn Stefani were among the dozens to withdraw. Rory Sabbatini was disqualified.

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