Irish amateur qualifies for US Open

Kevin Phelan (22) won qualifying event at the Ritz-Carlton in Bradenton, Florida

Kevin Phelan of Waterford Castle Golf Club has qualifed for the US Open at Merion next week. Photograph: Getty Images

Kevin Phelan of Waterford Castle Golf Club has qualifed for the US Open at Merion next week. Photograph: Getty Images

Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 12:25

Irish amateur Kevin Phelan has booked his place at the US Open for the second time with victory at the qualifying event at the Ritz-Carlton in Bradenton, Florida.

The 22-year-old from Waterford Castle Golf Club carded rounds of 65 and 70 to finish nine under overall, one clear of American John Hahn, to book his place alongside Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Pádraig Harrington at Merion next week.

“Patience really helped me today,” he said afterwards. “It’s a tough finish; it’s easy to make bogeys coming in. (You) just have to stay patient.”

Phelan, ranked the 39th amateur in the world, was among three qualifiers from a field of over 50. He will be hoping to at least go one better than his last Major appearance when he missed the cut in 2010, the year McDowell claimed victory at Pebble Beach.

Phelan will compete in this week’s Palmer Cup for college players, before travelling to Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania and onwards, then, to the Irish Open at Carton House on June 27th.