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Garcia intent on qualifying for U.S. Open

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Sergio Garcia has changed his mind about trying to qualify for the U.S. Open.

If Garcia doesn’t crack the top 50 in the world rankings before the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Memphis on June 6, he said Thursday that he’ll play in Memphis in an attempt to get into the year’s second major championship, scheduled June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club.

“The hope is still that I will play well enough this week that I don’t have to do it,” Garcia said.

With a hectic schedule, Garcia said a couple weeks ago he wouldn't try a sectional qualifier to get into the U.S. Open. His focus was solely on cracking the top 50 in the world to qualify that way. His run of 47 consecutive major championship appearances is in jeopardy as he sits 73rd in the world rankings.

Garcia’s 4-under-par 66 in the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship puts him in the early hunt. A victory this weekend will bump him just inside the top 50 in the world rankings. The last cutoff date for qualifying via the world rankings is June 13.

Garcia said his sister is coming from Spain to see the U.S. Open with her boyfriend.

“So I wanted to try to make it so they can see me,” Garcia said. “That would be nice. I'm going to give it my best shot and like I said, if we get into the tournament, it will be great. I love playing the U.S. Open. If not, then we'll go back to Europe and just watch it on TV.”

Garcia said he's not concerned about his major championship streak. He's also not qualified to play in the British Open. He had to withdraw from an American-based British Open qualifier on Monday with an infected fingernail.