Rai shines at Walton Heath to secure US Open debut

Aaron Rai fired five birdies and an eagle in his final nine holes of the 36-hole one-day event to card a second round 64 to win by one shot.

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Aaron Rai

May 30, 2017: Englishman Aaron Rai carried his magnificent European Challenge Tour form to Walton Heath to win the US Open Championship International Sectional Qualifier and secure a Major Championship debut at Erin Hills next month.

The Wolverhampton player, who has won two of the five Challenge Tour tournaments thus far this season, made an incredible late dash with five birdies and an eagle in his final nine holes of the 36-hole one-day event to card a second round 64 and win by one shot with a 14 under total.

Li Haotong of China, meanwhile, will also play in a Major for the first time after he matched Rai’s eight under second round to sign for a 13 under total, in outright second place.

Frenchman Alexander Levy will return to the year’s second Major after he finished in a share of third place on 12 under par alongside Richie Ramsay, who will play the US Open for the first time in ten years and the first time as a professional.

Andrew Johnston delighted the crowds as he eagled the par five 16th at the end of the second round to jump into the qualification spots and earn his place at the US Open through this qualifier for a second successive time.

The others to qualify in regulation play were South Africans Oliver Bekker, George Coetzee and Brandon Stone, Frenchman Jo?l Stalter, Englishman Eddie Pepperell and Welshman Bradley Dredge.

A play-off was required to determine the final four spots, with seven battling it out as darkness fell. Paul Dunne of Ireland and South Africa’s Thomas Aiken were the first to make it through before Matt Wallace of England and Australian Wade Ormsby joined them.

 

European Tour Release

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