Goose plays himself into US Open

AT&T Byron Nelson - Round OneHe won the US Open in 2001 and 2004, but Retief Goosen had to go back to qualifying to make it in to this year’s event which tees off on June 18 at Chambers Bay, south of Seattle in Washington State.

Monday was the final chance for nearly 800 players to get through 36-hole qualifiers at 10 venues from coast to coast in the United States, and Goosen carded a six-under-par total at Germantown Country Club and Ridgeway Country Club in Memphis, Tennessee to be the last of 10 players to get into the second major of 2015 from that qualifier.

Another two-time former champion who qualified was Lee Janzen. He won the US Open in 1993 at Baltusrol and in 1998 at Olympic Club. After his 10-year exemption expired, he never made it through a qualifier. He was disqualified two years ago for wearing metal spikes at a course that doesn’t allow them.

Amongst other big names who qualified was former world number one Luke Donald, back in US Open qualifying for the first time in 11 years.

The most spots – 15 – were available in Columbus, Ohio, held the day after the Memorial which finished there on Sunday. David Lingmerth, who won the Memorial in a playoff over Justin Rose, failed to earn a spot in the US Open. Among those who qualified were Camilo Villegas and Ryo Ishikawa.

For Goosen, getting into the US Open will be vindication for a battle to comeback from a career-threatening injury. “When I went in for surgery, I was saying to my wife that I physically can’t play golf anymore,” he said after the third round of February’s Nortthern Trust Open.

“I’m very happy with the way that’s turned out. It’s now been pretty much almost two-and-a-half years since surgery. My back’s feeling great. I have zero back pain. I wish I was 10 years younger, but you know, I feel like I can swing the club again. But, yeah, I mean, the surgery has given me a second life, and hopefully continue to play for a few years to come.”

 

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