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Khan Qualifies After Wentworth Disappointment
While most people were having a relaxing weekend off Simon Khan was putting in the work.
Despite having only 30 minutes’ sleep after the drama of losing a four-hole play-off to Matteo Manassero at Wentworth, he made the short drive around the M25 to Walton Heath and emerged from a 36-hole qualifying event to earn a place at the US Open next month. Two rounds of 67 and 70 were sufficient to win Khan one the 12 spots available to 96 European hopefuls wanting to play in the second Major of the year at Merion in Pennsylvania.
"I only slept for about half an hour last night and I even thought about pulling out, but this is my job," said Khan.
Also among the dozen who will be playing at Merrion will be Paul Casey, who was forced to go through the pre-qualifying process for the first time in his career. The former Ryder Cup player produced the round of the day, firing a superb 64 on the New Course after an opening 74 on the Old Course to seal his place in the season’s second Major Championship. Of his qualifying effort the man with the Popeye forearms said, "Now that I have got through the qualifier, there is no reason why you can't compete in the US Open. Michael Campbell showed that when he qualified here in 2005 and then won at Pinehurst."
The one shock was the US Open ticket earned by Birmingham’s Eddie Pepperell, 22, who had not figured on the European Tour’s radar before finishing fifth at Wentworth. He earned his Major debut with two rounds of 70.
The dozen European qualifiers are:
- Simon Khan
- Paul Casey
- Jaco van Zyl
- Marcus Fraser
- Eddie Pepperell
- Peter Hedblom
- Morten Orum Madsen
- Jose Maria Olazabal
- David Howell
- John Parry
- Chris Doak
- Estanislao Goya
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