4th June 2019 | Asian Tour
Lahiri and Fraser qualify for the U.S. Open Championship
Sentosa, Singapore, June 4: India’s Anirban Lahiri and Australia’s Marcus Fraser have secured their places at the 119th U.S. Open Championship with their strong performances at the Sectional Qualifiers held in Brookside and Scioto Clubs and the Walton Heath Golf Club respectively.
The 31-year-old Lahiri first carded three-under-par 67, with seven birdies and four bogeys at the Par-70 Scioto Country Club and then followed up with a flawless seven-under-par 65 highlighted by seven birdies at the Par-72 Brookside.
The Indian finished in second place after compiling a 10-under-par 132 total in Ohio to ensure his spot at his first Major of the 2019 season staged at the Pebble Beach Golf Links from June 13 to 16.
Fraser, a two-time Asian Tour winner, took tied-third to successfully claim one of 14 available spots at the sectional qualifier held in Surrey. He will join Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and South Africa’s Justin Harding, who are already exempt through their rankings, to the third Major of the season.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, currently 67th place on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), will need at least a solo-second result at this week’s JGTC Mori Building Cup Shishido Hills to give himself one last chance at qualifying before the cut-off date.
Lahiri last played a Major at the PGA Championships in 2018, when it was held in its August slot. This will mark his 16th Major appearance and his third at the U.S. Open, which is the only Major where he has not made the cut.
“It doesn’t feel good to watch Majors from home so definitely a new perspective heading to the U.S. Open this year. Safe to say I’m hungry to play well in the big events,” said Lahiri, who enjoyed his best Major finish at the 2015 PGA Championships with a tied-fifth result.
“I played really good in the qualifiers. My iron play was definitely the standout. I feel good about the game at the moment. I really liked the two courses we played. Old-school and tree-lined and lots of shot shaping. I felt very comfortable in my second round and I am glad to finish well. Now I am looking forward to playing at Pebble Beach,” said the 2015 Asian Tour number one.
The 40-year-old Fraser was thrilled to ride on a hot putter to post a six-under-par 66 in the first round and a 68 in the second round and compile a 10-under-par 134 total at Walton Heath.
“It was a long way to come over for this qualifier. I didn’t play well today but the putter was as good as it’s ever been and that got me through. This will be my fourth U.S. Open appearance. I am really looking forward to playing Pebble Beach,” said the Australian.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, missed out after carding a 69 at Brookside. The round included an eagle but he closed with an unfortunate double-bogey. At the Scioto course, he shot 71 after trading three birdies against four bogeys for a 71 and finish on a 140 total. The first alternate’s spot went at 139.
Qualifying for this month’s Major took place across 11 different sites where a total of 75 players advanced to the 119th U.S. Open Championship. Three Indians, Shiv Kapur (71-70), Ajeetesh Sandhu (76-73) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (72-WD) failed to qualify from Walton Heath, Surrey.