Pádraig Harrington has final door shut by USGA in attempt to play in US Open

“I asked the USGA for an invite about four weeks ago because there is a special exemption category that applies to me and I was turned down”

Pádraig Harrington was in Dublin yesterday to launch his exclusive range of golf apparel in association with Dunnes Stores. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Pádraig Harrington was in Dublin yesterday to launch his exclusive range of golf apparel in association with Dunnes Stores. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fri, May 30, 2014, 01:00

The final door has been shut on Pádraig Harrington in his attempt to play in the upcoming US Open in North Carolina, after the three-time Major champion revealed yesterday that the USGA had turned down consideration that he be given a special exemption.

Harrington – who is the most successful European player of his generation in terms of career Majors won – is no longer exempt for the season’s second Major, the five-year period dating back to his 2008 US PGA win now expired. He also missed out on last month’s US Masters at Augusta. The championship takes place at Pinehurst number two on June 12th-15th.

“I asked the USGA for an invite about four weeks ago because there is a special exemption category that applies to me and I was turned down,” admitted Harrington. The last time that the USGA used the special exemption category was in 2010 for both Vijay Singh and Tom Watson.

Harrington – who has competed in every US Open since 2000, with a best finish of tied-fourth at The Olympic Club in San Francisco in 2012 – attempted to come through the international qualifying at Walton Heath last Monday but failed in that task. He is scheduled to resume tour duty at next week’s St Jude Classic in Memphis.

Of his bid to regain his place on the Ryder Cup team for the defence of the trophy against the United States in Gleneagles later this year, Harrington admitted it was a “long shot” to automatically make Paul McGinley’s team.

In Dublin yesterday to launch his exclusive range of golf apparel in association with Dunnes Stores, Harrington said: “It is likely I will have to look for a pick now. And that means showing incredible form through the summer.

“I am just disappointed I am not there [in Pinehurst] because it doesn’t give me a chance to win the US Open. I really wasn’t thinking of it in terms of the consequences for the Ryder Cup.”

Harrington at least doesn’t have to worry about pre-qualifying for the other two Majors later this season. As a past champion of the British Open and the US PGA, he is exempt for both until he is 60.

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