Pádraig Harrington still chasing elusive US Open spot
Dubliner needs to be among world’s top 60 after this week’s FedEx St Jude Classic
Pádraig Harrington: calculated a couple of weeks ago that he would need 25 world ranking points to make it into the top 60 and secure a place at Chambers Bay. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Pádraig Harrington will chase a coveted spot in the field of the 115th US Open when he tees it up on Thursday in this week’s PGA Tour event, the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.
The Dubliner narrowly missed out by one shot on making a playoff at the US Open qualifier in Walton Heath where the last four spots, of 11 on offer, were disputed by five players.
There are a further 10 sectional qualifiers taking place in the United States overnight, so the only other ticket to the US Open at Chambers Bay in Washington is to be among the top 60 players in the world rankings come Sunday night.
Harrington is 91st – he was 86th last week – in the newly released official world rankings. A problem for the Dubliner is the relative lack of depth quality-wise to the field that’s signed up for the St Jude Classic. The number of official world golf ranking points (OWGR) available to the winner of a tournament is calculated on the strength of the field.
For example, and without specifying the entire mathematical formula, if the world number one, Rory McIlroy plays, then he is given a value of 45 points; the world number two, Jordan Spieth, 37 points right down to a point each for players ranked from 101st-200th.
One playerDustin Johnson
Harrington calculated a couple of weeks ago that he would need 25 world ranking points to make it into the top 60 and thereby secure a place at Chambers Bay. The magnitude of his task this week is obvious.
He is joined in Memphis by Graeme McDowell, who has no such concerns relating to the US Open as a former champion at Pebble Beach (2010).
McIlroy and Shane Lowry will be heading to Chambers Bay early to prepare for the second Major of the season, next week.
The European Tour heads for Austria this week and the Lyoness Open at the Diamond Country Club where six Irish players will be in action: Michael Hoey, Damien McGrane, Gareth Maybin, Kevin Phelan, Simon Thornton and Peter Lawrie. Sweden’s Michael Lundberg defends the title he won last year.
Meanwhile the European Challenge Tour will return to the Republic of Ireland for the first time in six years. A tournament called The Irish Challenge takes place at Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa and Golf Resort from October 8th-11th.
It will be the first time that the Christy O’Connor Jnr-designed course hosts a major professional event under the auspices of The European Tour. Tetrarch Capital, the new owners of Mount Wolseley have committed to hosting the event in 2016 and 2017 after signing a three-year deal.
The Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) and the Irish Sports Council have also come on board as partners for the event.
The last time a Challenge Tour event took place in the Republic of Ireland was in 2009 at Moyvalley GC, a tournament won by England’s, Robert Coles. Derryman Ruaidhri McGee is currently inside the top 10 in the Road to Oman.