Scottish golfers draw a blank in US Open qualifiers

Russell Knox, who tied for 12th in last year's US Open, missed out in the strongest sectional qualifier in Ohio. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Russell Knox, who tied for 12th in last year's US Open, missed out in the strongest sectional qualifier in Ohio. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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There will be no Scottish golfers in next week’s US Open at Pebble Beach - the first time the Saltire will be absent in the USGA event since it was last held at the Californian venue in 2010.

The disappointing scenario follows a washout for Scottish hopefuls in the sectional qualifiers for the third major of the season, which gets underway on Thursday week.

Scott Jamieson gave it a good go in his sectional qualifier at the Streamsong Resort in Florida but missed out with just three spots up for grabs. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Scott Jamieson gave it a good go in his sectional qualifier at the Streamsong Resort in Florida but missed out with just three spots up for grabs. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Six players flying the Saltire suffered disappointment in the European event at Walton Heath, where Stephen Gallacher and Liam Johnston gave it the best go before coming up agonisingly short in a battle for 14 spots.

Callum Hill, one of four Scots in the field at Shinnecock Hills last year, also missed out there, as did Bob MacIntyre, David Drysdale and Connor Syme.

Richie Ramsay, another of the representatives 12 months ago, had also due to be in the field at the Surrey venue, but he pulled out before the first round to rest his knee after feeling it in the Belgian Knockout last week.

There was also disappointment for US-based duo Russell Knox and Scott Jamieson in their respective qualifiers in Ohio and Florida.

Stephen Gallacher fell agonisingly short after getting himself in the mix at Walton Heath. Picture: Getty Images

Stephen Gallacher fell agonisingly short after getting himself in the mix at Walton Heath. Picture: Getty Images

Knox, who had played in the last three US Opens and tied for 12th behind Brooks Koepka at Shinnecock Hills, finished two shots outside the qualifying mark in the strongest line up at Brookside Golf & Country Club and Scioto Country Club.

And, despite an equally gutsy effort to try and secure his debut in this particular major, Jamieson missed out in a shoot-out at Streamsong Resort in Florida for just three spots.

Elsewhere, another US-based Scot, Robert McKnight, failed in his bid to come through the California qualifier at Big Canyon Country Club and Newport Beach Country Club.

Martin Laird, who has made six US Open appearances since making his debut in 2007, had already failed in his bid at Bent Tree Country Club and Northwood Club in Texas last month.

Since that washout at Pebble Beach nine years ago, the lowest Scottish representation in the event was in 2016, when Knox flew solo at Oakmont.

Yet, the previous year at Chambers Bay there was a five-strong tartan army in the field for the event’s first visit to the Washington venue.

Knox was the sole Scot in last month’s US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, while Sandy Lyle, who gets an invitation as a former winner, flew the Saltire on his own in The Masters back in April.

Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker, the two current Ryder Cup captains, also failed in their bids to be at Pebble Beach.

Harrington, a three-time major winner, missed out on a play-off by two shots at RattleSnake Point Golf Club in Ontario while Stricker fell short in the same event as Knox.

Harold Varner III, who was in the final group on the last day in the US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, also failed in his attempt there, as did Cameron Champ, Peter Uihlein, Ryan Moore, Shubhankar Sharma, David Lipsky, Charley Hoffman, Bill Haas and Julian Suri.

In an event won by American Luke Guthrie, former world No 1 Luke Donald was among the qualifiers along with Anirban Lahiri, Sam Saunders, Jhonattan Vegas, Rory Sabbatini, Jason Dufner, Erik Van Rooyen, Aaron Baddeley, Ryan Fox and amateurs Brandon Wu and Collin Morikawa.

England’s Callum Tarren won the Streamsong event after firing rounds of 64-68 for a 14-under-par total.

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