Rickie Fowler falls just short at US Open qualifying

Rickie Fowler

For the first time since 2010, the US Open will go ahead without Rickie Fowler.

The 32-year-old, who tied for second in the championship in 2014, failed to secure a spot in next week’s championship at Torrey Pines after coming up just short in a 36-hole qualifier in Columbus, Ohio.

Fowler followed a 73 at Brookside Golf and Country Club on Monday with a 66 at The Lakes on Tuesday to finish one shot outside the 16 spots.

Former US PGA champions Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner, as well as three-time major winner and current European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, also failed to qualify.

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There was, though, much better news for Scotland’s Martin Laird, who join compatriot Robert MacIntyre in the field with Erik van Rooyen,, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and former Masters champ Charl Schwartzel also punching their tickets for San Diego.

In total, 814 players competed across 12 Final Qualifying events for just 66 spots.

Inevitably, though, much of the focus will be on Fowler’s failure to qualify.

Now ranked 81st on the OWGR, the five-time PGA Tour winner missed The Masters back in April, ending a streak of playing in each of the last 41 championships, a run that stretched back to the 2010 Open at St Andrews.

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He was given a special exemption to play in last month’s US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and took full advantage, finishing in a tie for eighth – his first top-10 in a full field event since the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in July 2019.

He backed that up with a T11 finish at the Memorial Tournament last weekend. However, he was unable to continue his good momentum in this week’s US Open qualifiers and, as he is not in the field for the Palmetto Championship which gets underway on Thursday, he now has no way of qualifying for the third men’s major of 2021.

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