U.S. Open door ajar for DP World Tour-based Irish

Bernie McGuire
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U.S. Open door ajar for DP World Tour-based Irish

Jonathan Caldwell (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Ireland’s DP World Tour-based golfers will head to May’s BetFred British Masters with the added incentive of striving to also earn a place in the U.S. Open.

The USGA, as organisers of the US Open, announced on Thursday that it will for a third-year overseeing a four-event U.S. Open 2022 European Qualifying Series, with the top-10 money-earners at the end of the ‘series’ to earn a place in the June 16-19 event at Brookline in Massachusetts.

The four US Open qualifying events are The Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett (May 5-8), the Soudal Open in Belgium (May 12-15), Dutch Open (May 26-29), and the Porsche European Open (June 2-5).

Ireland has two players exempt from the 122nd hosting of golf’s second-oldest major on the famed 1999 Ryder Cup host venue and they are 2011 US Open winning Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.

Though McIlroy does not qualify as a past champion given his 10-year exemption in winning at Congressional ended last year.  No, he finished T7th a year ago, and to be inside the top-10 finishers at Torrey Pines.

Lowry finds himself currently exempt as a winner over the past five years (2017-21) of the Open Championship.

Looking to join them will be the DP World-based Jonathan Caldwell, Niall Kearney, and Cormac Sharvin.

And in stark contrast to the R&A, as organisers of the Open Championship, the USGA will afford an invitation into the US Open to the player who heads 2020/21 Asian Tour Order of Merit, and if not already exempt, as of May 23rd.

It was a controversial decision late last year, and without prior advice, other than it seems an email, when the R&A closed a similar entry door on the Asian Tour Order of Merit winner into this year’s 150th anniversary Open at St. Andrews.

The decision certainly did not please Asian Tour Commissioner Cho Minn Thant, who said at the time: “Well, the R&A has not officially stated their reason, and they’ve just sort of supplied a generic comment that they review their exemptions from time to time. It’s hard not to believe the various reports that speculate that it’s linked to the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour’s stance against the Asian Tour.”

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