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Jun 3, 2024 8:41 pm

Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson qualify for U.S. Open

webb simpson

PGA Tour veteran Matt Kuchar and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson had to qualify for this year’s U.S. Open the old-fashioned way.

Kuchar and Simpson were among those who locked up their spots in this month’s major championship via final qualifying on Monday, often called “Golf’s Longest Day.”

A total of 672 players competed in 36-hole qualifiers at locations around the United States and Canada to try to earn one of 44 available spots into the field at the U.S. Open, to be played June 13-16 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2) in North Carolina.

Kuchar, 45, was the medalist at his qualifying site. He shot rounds of 70 and 67 at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., to go 7 under for the day.

While Kuchar has never won a major, he has nine wins on the PGA Tour and once ranked as high as No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. But due to a lack of recent success, he did not qualify for any exemptions into the U.S. Open field.

Simpson’s exemption for winning the 2012 U.S. Open expired after 2022. He did not qualify last year and hasn’t made a cut at a major since the 2022 PGA Championship.

It will be a different story this year, as Simpson recorded a 67 and a 69 at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., which tied him for fourth, two shots behind medalist Frankie Capan III. Simpson finished one stroke above a 7-for-2 playoff that determined the final two of the site’s seven berths. Carter Jenkins and Harry Higgs won those spots via the playoff.

Australia’s Adam Scott is in danger of missing the U.S. Open, which would end the longest active streak of major starts in the sport. He has played in every major since the 2001 Open Championship, a stretch of 91 straight.

But he is not currently exempt for this year’s edition. On Monday, he followed an opening-round 64 with a second-round 69 to get to 7 under at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club, but other players were still on the course, and Scott was not projected to receive one of the four invites on offer.

However, there is one more chance for Scott to receive an exemption. Anyone in the top 60 of the OWGR as of June 10 will be invited if not already eligible. Scott enters the week at exactly No. 60, and he will not play in the Memorial later this week.

LIV Golf member Dean Burmester of South Africa tied for second in Florida, one stroke behind Kuchar. However, fellow LIV player Joaquin Niemann of Chile finished one stroke out of a 3-for-1 playoff for the fifth and final spot.

Niemann, once ranked in the top 15 in the world, is on track to miss the U.S. Open unless the USGA extends a special exemption to him. The PGA of America gave Niemann a special invite to last month’s PGA Championship, where he tied for 39th.

–Field Level Media

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