LONDON – Belgian golfer Nicolas Colsaerts led 11 players who earned spots in the U.S. Open in a qualifier for European Tour players that ended at dark – much to the surprise of Richie Ramsay of Scotland.
Ramsay didn’t think his score of 4-under 140 at Walton Heath would be enough to qualify. Because of a three-hour fog delay on Monday, he wasn’t even sure the 36-hole qualifier would finish. Ramsay said some players were still teeing off at 5:30 p.m.
He tried to catch a flight to Belfast to attend a wedding reception of fellow player Gareth Maybin. Ramsay, a former U.S. Amateur champion, missed his flight, and then was told to rush back to the course for a playoff among three players. Stuck in traffic, he didn’t arrive until the playoff was over.
Turns out there was just enough light left to play at least one hole, so a par 3 was used. Johan Edfors of Sweden, in what was supposed to be a three-for-one playoff, made par to earn the last spot over Andreas Harto of Denmark.
“I actually feel physically sick,” Ramsay said. “I can’t believe they played when it was pitch dark. It’s not up to me to say it’s right or wrong, but it’s just been an horrific day – just an awful, awful day.”
Ramsay will be an alternate, with little hope of getting into the U.S. Open, to be played from June 16-19 at Congressional.
Colsaerts easily qualified along with Edfors, Shane Lowry, Maarten Lafeber, Thomas Levet, Robert Rock, David Howell, Stephen Gallacher, Alexander Noren, Marcel Siem and Robert Dinwiddie.
Colin Montgomerie, a runner-up to Ernie Els when the U.S. Open was last held at Congressional in 1997, failed to qualify. Also missing out was Ross Fisher, the only member of the last Ryder Cup team who still has not qualified for the U.S. Open.
Fisher is No. 52 in the world and can get in if he cracks the top 50 in the final ranking published before the championship.