On a day when Michelle Wie failed to make history as the first woman to play in the U.S. Open, Jay Haas was among 21 players who qualified in the pro-laden Ohio sectional qualifier Monday, his fourth crack in as many decades at storied Winged Foot.
Haas, who won the Senior PGA Championship two weeks ago, first played Winged Foot in the 1974 U.S. Open as an amateur. He returned for the '84 U.S. Open and the '97 PGA Championship, and had to endure a 36-hole qualifier at Lakes and Brookside golf clubs.
'It's pretty darned hard,' said Haas, who will be playing in his 27th U.S. Open. 'They've added some length and the rough is really high. I'm sure it'll be playing pretty difficult. I wouldn't think that there would be too many good rounds this year.'
Ian Poulter of England and Canadian tour player Benjamin Hayes were medalists Monday at 13-under 131. The Columbus qualifier offered the most spots because of the large number of PGA Tour players who stuck around after the Memorial. Others who earned spots Woody Austin, Bo Van Pelt, Jeff Sluman and tour rookies J.B. Holmes and Camilo Villegas.
Brett Wetterich and Zach Johnson, who tied for second at the Memorial on Sunday, both failed to qualify.
Jason Gore, the 'Prince of Pinehurst,' will be AWOL at Winged Foot. Gore was in the final group at last year's U.S. Open until he shot 84 in the final round, falling well out of the top 15 to earn an exemption back. He failed to make it through qualifying Monday.
There were 11 qualifying sites Monday, including one in England, followed by three on Tuesday that will set the 156-man field for the U.S. Open, which starts June 15 at Winged Foot.
In Houston, Tom Kite failed in his bid to join Haas as the only players to play a U.S. Open at Winged Foot in three decades. Kite shot a 139, leaving him three strokes behind Ryan Baca and Ryan Posey, who earned the two Open spots on the line in Texas.
Kevin Tway also failed to qualify in Houston, just as his father Bob came up short in Columbus.
In Rockville, Md., Tommy Armour III shot rounds of 68-67 at Woodmond Country Club to claim one of four spots. Also qualifying was Joey Sindelar, Chad Collins and David Berganio, Jr. Among those who failed were Carlos Franco and Notah Begay.
In St. Charles, Ill., Steve Stricker and Jason Allred played their way to the U.S. Open.
Michael Derminio, Taylor Wood, Alex Coe and Patrick Nagle qualified in Daly City, Calif.
Dustin White earned the one spot being handed out in Littleton, Colo., Jonathan Moore qualified in Creswell, Ore., and Tadd Fujikawa qualified in Koloa, Hawaii.
In the other qualifier in Columbus, Madalitson Muthiya of Zambia and Stephen Woodward earned the two spots at Double Eagle. Bill Haas, the 23-year-old son of Jay Haas, had played who U.S. Opens with his father but failed to qualify.
Poulter struggled at the Memorial, but shot 65-66 in the qualifier to get into his third U.S. Open. Hayes, a 23-year-old who played at Southern California and was medalist in the first stage of PGA Tour Q-school last year, will be making his U.S. Open debut.
'It was a big goal of mine,' Hayes said. 'It's very rewarding to play this way.'
Carl Pettersson was supposed to be at the qualifier until he won the Memorial, his second victory in the last 12 months, which earned him an exemption to Winged Foot. Others had to grind through a long day for that pleasure.
Austin also faced a long weekend in the rain-delayed Memorial, but still had enough left to earn a spot. He still plans to play this week in the Barclays Classic, but not without a short break.
'I can guarantee you there'll be no shots hit tomorrow,' he said. 'I guarantee you I am not even thinking of hitting a golf shot.'
Others who earned spots at Winged Foot include Charl Schwwartzel of South Africa, Steve Lowery, Skip Kendall, Dean Wilson, Craig Barlow and tour rookie Nathan Green of Australia. Duffy Waldorf made a 5-foot birdie in a playoff to get the last spot.
Other PGA Tour players who missed were Brad Faxon and Aaron Baddeley (Verizon Heritage). Jesper Parnevik, Trevor Immelman and Peter Lonard also failed to get to Winged Foot.
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