Wilkinson, Fox qualify for US Open

New Zealanders Ryan Fox and Tim Wilkinson have  qualified for the US Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club next week.

With rounds of 65 and 71 at the Open sectional qualifying at Walton Heath Golf Club in England yesterday, Fox continued his form from the European Tour to secure a place in his fourth major championship.

After playing two British Opens and one PGA Championship, this will be his first US Open.

"Massively excited to qualify for my fourth major. I have never played the US Open before, so to get to play one in New York at Shinnecock at one of the most iconic US Open venues is going to be pretty special. I can’t wait," he said.

An interesting point about his qualification is that Michael Campbell qualified for the US Open through the same sectional qualifying. The USGA introduced European qualifying for the first time in 2005, which took place at the same destination, Walton Heath.

Campbell had to sink a 1.8m birdie putt on the last hole of qualifying to secure his place in the US  Open which he went on to win.

Fox has enjoyed a great few weeks on the European Tour with his form continuing to go from strength to strength after finishing tied for 51st and tied for eighth in the past two weeks, so he will have high hopes and a positive mindset entering one of the sport’s biggest events.

"It’s been a pretty surreal four days, really, obviously finishing with a top 10 in Italy with a great last round and doing a lot to secure my card for next year, then high-tail it back to London for 36 holes today.

"It was certainly nice to continue the form from yesterday’s round into today and I’m just very happy and hopefully it can continue for another week or so entering the US Open."

Wilkinson qualified after finishing second at the Woodmont Country Club sectional qualifier in Rockville, Maryland,  yesterday. His two rounds of 68 and 70 (6-under par) were highlighted by a spectacular hole in one on the sixth hole during his second round which launched him inside the all-important top four who booked their ticket to Shinnecock Hills. 

This is the second time in three years  Wilkinson has qualified for this event, after also showing his class when it counts at sectional qualifying in 2016. After losing his PGA Tour card for the season, this is a huge boost for the Manawatu professional who will be looking to make the most of the opportunity on the big stage. 

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