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Of the 156 players who peg it up in the US Open at The Country Club in Massachusetts this week, just one will be a Scot.

Chances are, though, it’s not a Scot you’re familiar with – even if the surname sounds does ring a (very loud) bell.  

Sean Jacklin, 30, will be competing alongside Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on the 52nd anniversary of his dad, European legend legend Tony, winning the same tournament at Hazeltine.  

You might be wondering how Sean qualifies as a Scot considering his father represented England throughout his career (with incredible distinction).  

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In an interview with bunkered back in 2015, he explained how he arrived at his decision. 

“I was born in Edinburgh and playing for Scotland just makes more sense to me than doing anything else,” said Jacklin Jnr. “It’s been my plan to do that for a while. Besides, I was named after Sir Sean Connery. I really don’t know if you can get much more Scottish than that.”

As a US citizen, Jacklin could also have played under the American flag which, theoretically, could have resulted in him one day playing in the Ryder Cup against the same European side his father represented with such distinction. In the same bunkered, however, he ruled that out. 

“I want to compete for Europe in the Ryder Cup. That’s one of my big goals and, with my dad’s history in the match, I don’t think I could get away with playing against Europe. I don’t think that would could go down particularly well!

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“So, as far as all parties are concerned, playing under the Scottish flag is the way forward and that’s something I’ll continue to do.” 

Jacklin, who plays mainly on the mini tours in the United States, punched his ticket for this week’s major through one of the nine qualifying events that were staged in the US, progressing through local qualifying all the way to finals at Admiral’s Cove in Jupiter, Florida.  

Speaking to USA Today, Jacklin Snr described tracking his son’s progress through the qualifiers as “bloody nerve-wracking”.  

“My wife and I were hole-by-holing it,” said the 77-year-old two-time major champ. “Just kept hitting refresh. 

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“Sean’s not a kid anymore. He’s been trying to Monday in and play the mini tours. He’s won a bunch of West Florida events and plays in Orlando. He’s got the game. It’s as much luck as anything. There are so many good players. 

“A good week next week will give him a real boost. But I won’t bother to give him some pep talk. He already knows every damn thing I know.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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