Here is a recap of the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Surrey, England. For complete coverage of all U.S. Open sectionals, click here.
Walton Heath GC (Old + New), Par 72
14 spots available
MEDALIST(S): A pair of Englishmen took top honors at Walton Heath, as Andrew “Beef” Johnston and James Morrison finished at 10 under to earn co-medalist honors.
Johnston. 29, is the man who burst onto the scene when he won his first European Tour event in April 2016 and showed his colorful personality in the process. His fandom grew even more when he finished solo eighth at the 2016 Open Championship. Johnston then earned his PGA Tour card for 2016-17 through the Web.com Tour Finals but lost it in a difficult campaign where he made just four cuts in 13 starts. Johnston continued playing the European Tour during this time as well and indicated his social habits may’ve played a role in his disappointing play that year. In 2018, Johnston has found more success in Europe, already posting four top-12 finishes, including a playoff loss at the Hero Indian Open. At Walton Heath, he opened in 7-under 65 on the Old Course and came home in 69 on the New Course to secure his spot. Johnston qualified for the U.S. Open in 2016 and ’17 as well. He posted T-54 and T-42 showings, respectively, in those Opens.
Morrison, 33, is a two-time European Tour winner who came into this week off a solid T-23 at the Italian Open. It’s been an up-and-down year for Morrison, who has missed eight of 13 cuts since the calendar turned to 2018. But he had no troubles Monday, as he posted a pair of 67s to move on easily.
ALSO QUALIFYING: Matthew Southgate, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, goes 67-68 to finish in a tie for third and move on. Richie Ramsay, the 2006 U.S. Amateur winner, also posts at 9 under to earn his U.S. Open spot. Matt Wallace, who beat Johnston in that playoff at the Hero Indian Open for his second European Tour title, finishes in joint seventh at 7 under to advance through. A day after winning the Italian Open, Thorbjorn Olesen overcomes a late double bogey to squeak through into the U.S. Open in a tie for 12th at 6 under. Also there is Kristoffer Reitan, the Norwegian amateur who first decided to skip college golf at Texas and then chose to go after all before leaving in the midst of his freshman season, finishing at 6 under to grab his U.S. Open spot.
Nine players finished at 5 under to tie for 14th in regulation and qualify for a playoff for the last and final U.S. spot from this site. Paul Waring falters after an opening 64 with a follow-up 75 but wins the 9-for-1 extra-holes session to punch his Shinnecock ticket.
ALTERNATES: Ryan Evans is the first alternate, and Aaron Rai is the second.
MISSED OUT: Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington posts a pair of 70s. But his 4-under total leaves him one shot short of the playoff for the final qualifying spot. Harrington has five top 10s at the U.S. Open but hasn’t played in it since 2013. … Sam Horsfield, the former Florida standout, was in perfect position to advance before going bogey-bogey-double bogey-bogey at Nos. 14-17 to play his final five holes in 5 over. That brutal run meant a 66-74 day, a 4-under total and the same fate as Harrington. … Lee Westwood goes 69-73 for 2 under. That leaves him comfortably short of earning an Open spot. This snaps his streak of playing in 11 consecutive U.S. Opens. His best finish is the event is a solo third in 2008, and he has five top 10s at the Open overall. … Paul Dunne, a 54-hole co-leader at the 2015 Open Championship as an amateur, finishes at 1 under to miss out.