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Faldo Qualifies For US Open

Nick Faldo will play in his 17th consecutive U.S. Open after making birdie on the final hole at a sectional qualifier on Tuesday to claim one of three available spots.
Faldo, a six-time major championship winner, finished at 5-under 139 in the 36-hole qualifier at Lake Nona Country Club in Orlando, Fla.
'I'm very proud of myself,' said Faldo, who won three British Open and three Masters titles, but has never won the U.S. Open. 'Five-under-par is a blooming good result for this day. I'll definitely go home and crack open a bottle of the good stuff to celebrate this one.'
Camilo Villegas, an All-American from the University of Florida competing as a pro for the first time, and PGA Tour pro Tripp Isenhour, also finished 5-under to earn the other two spots.
All three advance to next week's Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
In other qualifiers Tuesday:
- At Roswell, Ga., former British Open runner-up Thomas Levet and Scott Weatherly earned the two spots.
- At St. Louis, David Roesch and John Elliott qualified at Old Warson Country Club. Notah Begay missed by one shot.
- At Midway, Pa., Andrew Tschudin earned the only spot available at QuickSilver Golf Club.
The qualifier at Kingwood, Texas, was suspended by six hours of rain delays. Former U.S. Open champion Tom Kite and Trip Kuehne, who 10 years ago was runner-up to Tiger Woods in the U.S. Amateur, were among those tied for the lead through 18 holes. The final 18 holes will be concluded Wednesday, with two spots available.
Faldo shot 2-under 70 on the first 18 holes. He was still 2-under at the turn of his second round before making birdies on the first three holes of his final nine to get to 5-under. He dropped to 4-under after a bogey on his 14th hole.
On the par-5 ninth, his last hole, Faldo hit his second shot into a greenside bunker, and then hit to within 6 feet. He made the birdie putt to earn a spot in the Open field.
John Cook, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, eagled the same hole a few minutes earlier to finish at 140. He was bumped from the field by Faldo. Cook still could get into the Open as an alternate. 'It's like playing in the dark when there are no scoreboards out there to tell you where you stand,' Faldo said. 'I thought I might have to get it to 6-under to get in. But fortunately I made it, and I'm glad I came out here and qualified. It feels really good.'
Levet, who lost a five-hole playoff to Ernie Els at the British Open in 2002 at Muirfield, and Weatherly finished 5-under-par in 36-hole sectional qualifying at Ansley Golf Club's Settindown Creek. PGA Tour pro Billy Andrade failed to qualify with rounds of 72 and 71, as did 2001 U.S. Amateur champion Bubba Dickerson, who finished at 140.
In Summit, N.J., Australia's Scott Hend made par on the sixth extra hole, surviving a two-day, 10-man playoff in qualifying at Canoe Brook Country Club. The playoff was suspended because of darkness Monday with five of the 10 players competing for a spot in the Open.
Hend, who earned his PGA Tour card in the qualifying school last year, and Matt Cannon of Huntersville, N.C., birdied the par-4, No. 10 on the North Course at Canoe Brook when play resumed, eliminating Australia's Peter Fowler, Steve Pate and Ricky Barnes.
Hend advanced when Cannon bogeyed the par-3, 11th.
Also on Monday, David Moreland IV and J.P. Hayes shared medal honors at 8-under 134 as a field of 138 golfers competed for 22 spots. Others qualifying were PGA Tour pros Dudley Hart, Dennis Paulson and Tom Carter. Kevin Stadler, the son of Craig Stadler, also earned a spot, as did 1996 PGA champion Mark Brooks.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - 2004 U.S. Open
  • Sectional Qualifying Results
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