Sports News

France's Bourdy leads 13 qualifiers into U.S. Open

(Reuters) - France’s Gregory Bourdy led 13 players into the field for the U.S. Open golf championship next month at Oakmont Country Club in the International Sectional qualifier at Walton Heath in Surrey, England on Monday.

Gregory Bourdy of France hits out of a sand trap on the 7th hole during the BMW Masters 2013 golf tournament at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai October 26, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Four-time European Tour winner Bourdy shot rounds of 67 and 68 to finish nine-under-par, two shots clear of Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg, to lead the qualifying event for the U.S. Open which takes place outside Pittsburgh starting on June 16.

Irishman Padraig Harrington, announced last week as one of Darren Clarke’s vice-captains for this year’s Ryder Cup, bogeyed his final two holes to miss out on the playoff by one shot.

Lundberg, a three-time European Tour winner, will make his major championship debut after posting his seven-under total in cold and blustery conditions.

Bourdy’s compatriots Gary Stal and Romain Wattel will join him in the field after both finished on four-under, a figure matched by Sweden’s Alex Noren.

Englishman Andrew Johnston shot three-under, delighting local crowds by clinching his spot in what will be his U.S. tournament debut. The 27-year-old last month won his maiden European Tour title in Spain.

His compatriots Lee Slattery (six-under) and Matthew Baldwin (four-under) also qualified.

Ryder Cup hero Peter Hanson of Sweden put a couple of injury-hampered years behind him to earn qualification on three-under-par alongside Italy’s Matteo Manassero, still only 23 years old but now set for his fourth U.S. Open appearance.

A five-man playoff determined the last three qualifiers, with Germany’s Max Kieffer holing from the bunker on the first hole. Dane Soren Hansen qualified with a birdie at the second.

Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg claimed the last berth with a birdie on the fifth extra hole to earn his maiden major championship appearance.

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris