Former champ Graeme McDowell has seen two rain delays over two days in Dallas ruin his chances of qualifying for next month’s US Open.
McDowell’s 10-year exemption in lifting the gleaming US Open trophy on Father’s Day in 2010 along the shoreline at Pebble Beach ended last year at Bethpage Park on New York’s Long Island.
It meant unless he was exempt via other means, which he was not, that McDowell had to tee-up in a number of qualifiers with the now 41-year old staking his chances over two rounds on the Dallas Athletic Club course. The event was set for two rounds on Monday but heavy rains forced officials to suspend play ahead of a Tuesday restart before yet another rain delay just prior to 11am local time.
McDowell had posted an opening level par 70 and was just one-under through six holes when play was halted. In returning Tuesday morning, he managed a further nine holes with three to play only to be again called from the course.
At the second suspension, McDowell was sharing 35th place and needing to be in the top-10 to win through to the June 17th tee time at Torrey Pines near San Diego in California. McDowell had recorded four birdies and three bogeys to be lying at one-under and also one-under overall but that was some three strokes outside of the leading ten.
And rather than wait around for the restart, McDowell was headed on an hour’s drive slightly south-west of the course to prepare for Thursday’s starting Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial County in the neighbouring city of Fort Worth.
Cork amateur Paul Buckley posted rounds of 75 and 77 to miss out while Cian Curley, who posted an opening 76, withdrew after eight second round holes.
Not surprisingly, there were some 50 withdrawals following the second stoppage on Tuesday morning from a starting contingent of 115. But what was surprising was that it was a pair of amateurs who topped qualifying with German Matthias Schmid joined by American Matthew Sharpstene at nine-under par.