Tuesday's roundup: Woods to skip U.S. Open at Oakmont
Tiger Woods said Tuesday he is not playing at the U.S. Open this year as he recovers from back surgery.
This will be the third time in the last six years that injuries have kept him out of the U.S. Open, which he’s won three times.
Woods said on his website that he is working hard to get ready but that he is not physically ready to play next week at Oakmont, or at his Quicken Loans National tournament the following week at Congressional.
Woods said he is making progress but is not ready for competition.
He has not played since a tie for 10th in the Wyndham Championship in August. Woods, who first had back surgery a week before the 2014 Masters, had two more surgeries in September and October.
Luke Donald went two extra holes to join four other players earning a spot in the U.S. Open after a playoff Tuesday morning in Columbus, Ohio.
Donald, a former world No. 1 who has been eligible for every U.S. Open since 2005, made two pars in the six-man playoff in the Ohio qualifier that featured the strongest field. The others advancing were Patrick Rodgers, Jason Allred, Richard Schembechler II and Texas sophomore Scottie Scheffler.
Daniel Summerhays was eliminated when he missed a 5-foot putt on the second playoff hole. He was the first alternate.
Vijay Singh didn’t come close to qualifying in Florida, which didn’t finish until Tuesday because of rain. He missed out by nine shots. Aron Price of Australia and Tim Wilkinson led the way, while Sam Horsfield and Matthew Borchert ended a five-man playoff for the last two spots with birdies on the first extra hole.
That completed the 10 sectional qualifiers from coast to coast that offered 55 spots for the U.S. Open, which starts June 16 at Oakmont outside Pittsburgh. Previous qualifiers were held in Japan and England.
The USGA also set aside six spots to accommodate anyone who qualifies by cracking the top 60 in the world ranking after this week. If those spots are not taken, they will be filled from an alternate list.
Schembechler qualified for his first U.S. Open, and what a coincidence that it took place not far from Ohio State. His grandfather was a cousin of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, who won only five times in Columbus.
Carlos Ortiz was the medalist in Columbus, making it into his first U.S. Open despite making only two cuts on the PGA Tour in the last three months. Also getting in was Bryson DeChambeau, who gave up an automatic spot as the U.S. Amateur champion when he chose to turn pro right after the Masters.
Other qualifiers included Wes Short, who drove over from the Champions site in Iowa and qualified at age 52 for his first U.S. Open.
In other sectionals:
Three of the four qualifiers from the smaller Ohio section were college players, including Michigan’s Kyle Mueller, and Illinois teammates Nick Hardy and Charlie Danielson.
Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise capped off a week he won’t forget: He won the NCAA title a week ago Monday, Oregon won its first NCAA title two days later and Wise won the Pacific Northwest qualifier for the U.S. Open.
The second strongest qualifier was in Tennessee, where David Toms, 49, was among 10 players who made it through. Toms is playing his 19th U.S. Open. He tied for fifth at Oakmont in 2007.
Shell Houston Open winner Jim Herman and former Michigan star Justin Hicks were among six qualifiers at Canoe Brook in New Jersey.
Kevin Tway, the son of 1986 PGA champion Bob Tway, was among three qualifiers in Houston.
Last chance for Open
Neither Gary Woodland nor Ryan Palmer made it through Open qualifying on Monday — Palmer missed by a shot in Tennessee, while Woodland withdrew on the back nine during a rain delay when it was clear he wasn’t going to make it.
The FedEx St. Jude Classic is their last chance.
The USGA will take the top 60 in the world ranking after this week for players not already eligible.
Palmer is 64th and Woodland is No. 62.
Also in the field is defending champion Fabian Gomez, who would need at least a fourth-place finish. Gomez is No. 68.
When he won last year at No. 288 in the world, he was too far back to move into the top 50. He also won the Sony Open in January.