5 Members qualify for #USOpen

Sentosa, May 26: Five Asian Tour members have qualified for the U.S. Open through sectional qualifying held in Japan and England on Monday.

China’s Liang Wen-chong, Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and Korea’s Seukhyun Baek punched their tickets to the year’s second Major by emerging in the top-five of qualifying at the Kinojo Golf Club while India’s Shiv Kapur and Marcus Fraser of Australia secured their berths through qualifying at Walton Heath.

The U.S. Open will be held at Chambers Bay Golf Club, Washington from June 18-21.

The 36-year-old Liang, a former Asian Tour number one, fired a pair of seven-under-par 65s to top his qualifying session and earn his second straight U.S. Open appearance while Kawamura, who enjoyed a top-10 finish at the recent AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, finished second following rounds of 65-67 to earn his maiden Major appearance.

Baek, 24, will also be making his maiden Major appearance after surviving a play-off in Japan, with a birdie at the third extra hole seeing him through.

Kapur earned his second straight appearance at the U.S. Open by finishing second in Walton Heath with a pair of 67s. He finished tied 23rd at the U.S. Open in Pinehurst last season.

“This afternoon, I was blemish free – five birdies, no bogeys, so I’m very pleased. That’s two years in a row now I’ve qualified from here so it is my happy hunting ground. I had a decent showing at Pinehurst last year so hopefully I can do even better this year,” said the Indian, who was the 2005 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year.

“Last year was the coolest event I’ve played. I got cheered around all the way and coming up 18 I remember finishing with a birdie and it was the biggest cheer I’ve ever heard, so the U.S. Open is really, really cool. At the end of the day, we play the sport to play the Majors and compete against the best, so it’s a dream come true.

“Michael Campbell showed it can be done. Last year I was on the leaderboard for a while and I know if I play my best it is not out of the equation. But I just want to go out there and enjoy playing in another U.S. Open and it will be a really cool feeling.”

Fraser got through with a 69 and 70.

Thai star Thongchai Jaidee and India’s Anirban Lahiri, the current Order of Merit leader, are already exempt into the U.S. Open through their top-60 positions in the Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday.