UPDATE: Scott has teed off in his opening round at Brookside in Columbus.
DUBLIN, Ohio – Adam Scott has played in 67 straight major championships, second only to Sergio Garcia, who has appeared in 72 consecutive majors. Scott’s streak, however, is in jeopardy this year as the 37-year-old Aussie has yet to qualify for the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.
Scott is among the notable names scheduled to compete in a 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday in Columbus, Ohio, but he told a PGA Tour media official, after declining an interview request for the first time all week, that he is undecided whether he will actually tee it up.
Scott said Friday that he had “no desire to play on Monday at all.” He has never competed in sectionals, though he was entered in 2001 before withdrawing. As of now, he’ll begin his first round alongside Jason Kokrak and K.H. Lee. at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Brookside Country Club.
If he doesn’t play Monday, Scott will have one more chance to qualify for the U.S. Open. He is 64th in the Official World Golf Ranking and would earn a spot if he moved inside the top 60 after this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, which Scott is in the field for.
A few weeks ago, Scott was a shot away from re-entering the top 60 and qualifying based on world ranking. But he ended up T-9 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and only moved to 61st. He fell to 65th entering this week at Muirfield Village, where he was T-11 after 54 holes before a final-round 73 dropped him to T-35.
Scott has dialed back his schedule in recent years, yet Memphis will be his sixth straight week of competition. Throw in a sectional and a potential trip to Shinnecock, should he qualify, and Scott will be in need of an extended break. He’s already feeling it.
“I haven’t stopped yet,” Scott said. “It’s not going to be good when I do stop, that’s for sure.”
Scott isn’t alone when it comes to his dislike for the pressure cooker that is sectional qualifying. Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion who has played in six straight U.S. Opens, qualified last year out of Columbus in what was his first sectional in seven years. He will compete in Columbus again on Monday.
“It’s no fun. It’s awful,” said Bradley, who is ranked 72nd in the world and also teeing it up in Memphis. “It reminds me a lot of playing the mini-tours. It’s like playing Q-School, too. There’s no enjoyment out of it. You’re so tired … it’s just brutal.”
Patton Kizzire, who has won twice on Tour this season and is 63rd in the world rankings, remembers his first sectional back when he was in college at Auburn. He shot 7-under 65 and thought he’d be leading by a few shots. Instead, he was in fourth place.
“That was kind of a wakeup call,” said Kizzire, who followed with a second-round 72 to miss out.
He’ll have an early wakeup call Monday in Columbus, teeing off at 8:10 a.m.
“I really shouldn’t have to go to sectionals,” said Kizzire, who at one point led the FedEx Cup standings this year. “I should’ve played a little better to get top 60 in the world. But it’s a grind. You’ve gotta go low, you’ve gotta make a bunch of birdies.”
Other notables competing in sectionals this year include Angel Cabrera, who had his 10-year exemption from his 2007 U.S. Open win run out this year, as well as past U.S. Open winners Geoff Ogilvy (2006) and Retief Goosen (2001, ’04).
Cabrera is teeing it up in Richmond, Texas, while Goosen and Ogilvy will be in Memphis.
Oregon’s Norman Xiong will also be in Memphis as he makes his pro debut.
There is a strong amateur contingent competing, as well, led by five Oklahoma State players – Viktor Hovland, Kristoffer Ventura, Matt Wolff, Stratton Nolen, Sam Stevens and Brendon Jelley.