Levy leads US Open qualifying charge

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Frenchman Alexander Levy earned a debut appearance at next month’s the US after finishing on top of the international sectional qualifier at Walton Heath yesterday.

Levy fired a 66 (-6) on the Old Course in the morning and a 67 (-5) on the New Course in the afternoon to lead 11 players who booked berths at the season’s second major.

Also through are: India’s Shiv Kapur, England’s John Parry and Jason Palmer, Swede Alex Noren, Dane Lucas Bjerregaard, Germany’s Marcel Siem, South Africans Garth Mulroy, Tjaart van der Walt and Thomas Aiken and Australian Marcus Fraser.

However, triple major champion Padraig Harrington missed out after rounds of 72 and 68 – he needed to hole his greenside bunker shot on the last to qualify but just failed.

Said Levy: “I played really good golf. I was positive and had a good attitude. It will be my first time in the US Open. I missed the Masters so it will be great to play another major.”

No doubt 30-year-old Palmer will be the centre of attention at Chambers Bay, Washington, on June 18-21 owing to his unusual one-handed chipping and bunker play technique.

He was understandably about earning his maiden major appearance, saying: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I always wanted to play in a major and knew this would present a good opportunity to do it because I love Walton Heath.”

The final four spots were decided in a playoff after van der Walt carded a birdie and two eagles in his last six holes to make it a five-way tie for eighth place on five-under 139.

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