Indian trio fail to make grade for U.S. Open

S.S.P. Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh failed to win a berth through the U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Walton Heath Golf Club.

Shiv Kapur shot a 70 and withdrew after the first round.   -  Getty Images

S.S.P. Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh failed to win a berth through the U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Walton Heath Golf Club here on Tuesday.

While Chawrasia shot 73-72 and finished way down, Kapur (70) and Jeev (75) withdrew after the first rounds. The U.S. Open will be held at Erin Hills next month. Chawrasia was just unable to get his putter going and dropped a lot of shots in the first round and was unable to make up in the second.

Chawrasia and Kapur are now headed to Sweden for Nordea Masters later this week. Meanwhile, Englishman Aaron Rai, who carried his magnificent recent form to Walton Heath Golf Club earned medallist honours in U.S. Open sectional qualifying and secured his major championship debut at Erin Hills next month.

The Wolverhampton native, whose Indian origin parents came from Kenya, has won two events on the European Challenge Tour this season. He shot 66-64 and led the list of 15 qualifiers from the sectional.

Li Haotong of China, meanwhile, will also make his U.S. Open debut at Erin Hills after he matched Rai’s 64 in Round 2 to place second with a 13-under total. Frenchman Alexander Levy will return to the U.S. Open after he finished in a share of third place at 12-under par alongside 2006 U.S. Amateur champion Richie Ramsay.

Levy tied for 27th in 2015 at Chambers Bay, his only U.S. Open start, while Ramsay will play the U.S. Open for the first time in 10 years and the first time as a professional. Andrew “Beef” Johnston, who was a fan favourite in his U.S. Open debut at Oakmont Country Club last year, delighted the crowds at Walton Heath, making a hole-in-one on the second hole of the New Course during his morning round, and then recording a pair of eagles during Round 2 to earn his spot with one stroke to spare at 10-under 134.

The others to qualify in regulation were South Africans Oliver Bekker, George Coetzee and Brandon Stone, Frenchman Joel Stalter, Englishman Eddie Pepperell and Welshman Bradley Dredge. Ireland’s Paul Dunne, South Africa’s Thomas Aiken, Matt Wallace of England and Australian Wade Ormsby joined them.

Notables to who missed out on qualifying for the U.S. Open were three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, 2009 PGA champion YE Yang and 2010 U.S. Open runner-up Grry Havret.