Pádraig Harrington narrowly failed in his attempt to secure a place in the field for next week’s US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, as the three-time Major champion’s bid to emerge from final qualifying in Columbus, Ohio, came up just short.
With 16 spots on offer at Brookside Country Club, where Chez Reavie and Erik Van Rooyen led the way in the weather-disrupted 36-hole qualifier, Harrington's rounds of 71 and 68 for five-under-par 139 came up one shot short of the target and finished in a log-jam on tied-18th.
Then, the Dubliner was one of 12 players – also including former Players champion Rickie Fowler – dispatched for the second alternate spot available from the venue. If that was expected to be a long drawn out affair, it proved anything but as Englishman Ben Taylor dramatically holed out with his approach for an eagle two to claim the outside chance of a call-up to the season's third Major.
The USGA had extended a special exemption to Phil Mickelson prior to the American's win in the recent US PGA Championship and there remained an outside possibility that they could instead extend it to Harrington, Europe's Ryder Cup and a three-time Major winner. But it was not forthcoming, and Harrington – who has competed in 16 US Opens in his career, most recently in 2013 – went through the qualifying route only to miss out by the narrowest of margins.
Harrington, though, is in the field for next month’s 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s as a past champion and he is in the field for this week’s PGA Tour stop, the Palmetto Championship in South Carolina.