posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 01:12 PM
Nick Faldo birdied
his final hole at Lake Nona in Florida to book a place a place in next week's US Open. The 46-year-old, three times a winner of both The Open and the
Masters, was having to qualify for a Major for the first time in more than 25 years.
He posted a two-under-par 70 in the first of the two rounds to be in joint-fourth place at the halfway stage with only three players certain to win
spots at Shinnecock Hills from the 61-strong field.
He was in danger of missing out on one of only three places available for Shinnecock Hills in his second round. However, the six-time major winner
held his nerve to finish in a three-way tie for first place on five-under 139.
Faldo, who tied for the lead with Tripp Isenhour and Camilo Villegas, was understandably delighted to clinch his US Open place.
"That was a good result to get to five under. It was like playing in the dark with no scoreboards to see how everyone else was doing," said Faldo.
"But I'm proud of myself and now I can go home and crack open a bottle to celebrate."
Tripp Isenhour and Camilo Villegas shared top spot alongside Faldo, with John Cook, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, just a shot back in fourth
despite an eagle on his final hole. German Alex Cejka, France's Thomas Levet and Swedes Daniel Chopra and Gabriel Hjertstedt came through other
Levet finished joint top in Atlanta with rounds of 70 and 67 after 41 players battled for just two places, Cejka and Chopra were joint fourth in
Columbus and Hjertstedt was sixth in New Jersey. Luke Donald and Swede Jesper Parnevik failed to make it in Columbus.
Parnevik's two rounds of 70 saw him miss out on a play-off by one shot while Donald's 70-73 total was four strokes too many. Just 33 of the 184-strong
field qualified and others to miss out included former Open champions Tom Lehman and Mark O'Meara, 2002 Ryder Cup player Niclas Fasth and Carl