US Open qualifying: Simon Khan, Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul Casey qualify for Merion
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 06/06/13 3:43pm
Brits qualify for US Open
Simon Khan bounced back from his play-off defeat at Wentworth to book a place at the US Open from qualifying at Walton Heath - where he was joined by the like of Jose Maria Olazabal, Paul Casey and David Howell.
12 players won a place in the second major of the season at Merion near Philadelphia, and Khan came top of the bunch with a two-round total of seven-under handing him the perfect way to get over his loss to Matteo Manassero on the fourth extra hole of the BMW PGA Championship.
"I'm delighted with today," said Khan, who is back in the US Open having played previously in 2009 and 2010. "I don't know a lot about Merion but it looks fantastic from the pictures I've seen. It looks quite tricky and a bit shorter, which hopefully will suit me.
"It will be my third US Open and I love the tournament, so it will be fantastic to go back."
Former Ryder Cup player Casey was playing in his first qualifying event and shot the round of the day with a 64 on the New Course booking his place at Merion.
"I played lovely today," said Casey, is slowly returning to form after recovering from a shoulder injury. "It was the first qualifier I've played, so I didn't know what to expect. We had great crowds and it was a golf course I played a lot as a kid, so I'm ecstatic to come through.
Hill – Competition is strong
"For me, the US Open is right up there along with the Open Championship. I don't know a lot about Merion but I've played a lot of US Opens and I love them. I know it is going to be tough but I'm looking forward to it."
Jaco Van Zyl, Morten Orum Madsen, Peter Hedblom and Marcus Fraser also qualified, along with 22-year-old rookie Eddie Pepperell, who will make his major debut after playing well when sixth at Wentworth.
2012 Ryder Cup captain Olazabal was part of a six-man play-off for five qualifying places, and the Spaniard got through at the first hole to return to the US Open for the first time since 2007.
"I'm very pleased to be going to Merion," said Olazabal. "It's not very often you are involved in a six-man play-off so I'm delighted to get through and get a place in the US Open."
Englishman Howell also birdied the first play-off hole to join Olazabal in the field, as did compatriot John Parry who will be making his major debut at the US Open.
Argentine Estanislao Goya and Scotland's Chris Doak claimed the final two places on the fourth extra hole after Swede Rikard Karlberg hit a tree with his tee shot and was the unlucky man to miss out.
"I'm delighted to get through," said Howell. "They were generous odds in the play-off but someone has to miss out, so thankfully I made it through.
"Things have been going better for me the last year or so but you want to be playing in the Major Championship. From what I hear Merion is a brilliant course and hopefully I can do well."