Mike Weir navigated his way through an actual traffic jam to motor into the 11-man logjam for the final seven U.S. Open spots up for grabs in the Columbus, Ohio, sectional qualifying only to hit a roadblock on his way to Merion.
Weir, the 2003 Masters champion who has plummeted to 963rd in the world due to injuries, made his way into the playoff by parring his final hole at Brookside Golf & Country Club, some 10 miles from the playoff site at The Lakes Golf & CC. Normally about a 15-minute car ride between the two tracks, an auto accident in the Brookside proximity meant that Weir had to find an alternate route back to The Lakes course.
Once Weir landed back at The Lakes, the extra-innings shootout among 11 PGA Tour players ensued, with Lukas Guthrie, Aaron Baddeley, Rory Sabbatini, and Sang Moon Bae among the fortunate finishers who’ll play next week in Ardmore, Pa.:
Guthrie knocks it in. It took 14 hours, but we have our 15 qualifiers in Columbus.— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) June 4, 2013
Weir, who has battled back from reconstructive surgery to his right elbow and made a 20-foot putt in the dark to earn alternate status, will return to his first U.S. Open since 2010 only if one of the finalists drops out:
Here's how dark it is: Weir's caddie had to tend the pin for a 20 foot putt. He made it though... #FirstAlternate— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) June 4, 2013
Several hours earlier, Charley Hoffman took medalist honors, firing an 11-under (65-68) on the two courses to grab a one-shot victory over four others, including Lexi Thompson’s brother, Nicholas, and Josh Teater. Teater, who will play in his first-ever major, earned his way to Merion just two weeks after qualifying for the British Open.
A number of notables went home empty-handed from the hotly contested competition in Columbus. In addition to those who failed to make it through the playoff, tour players missing out included Jeff Overton (-7), Trevor Immelman (-5), Camilo Villegas (-4), and Charles Howell (-3).
Thanks to his third-place finish at last week’s Memorial Tournament, Kyle Stanley (6-under) still has a chance to get to Merion. Jumping up to 59th in the Official World Golf Rankings on the strength of his stellar week down the road at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Kyle will get to the Open if the rankings remain the same when the updated OWGR comes out on Monday.
Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club, Columbus, Ohio
|Ted Potter, Jr.||-8|
|Doug LaBelle II||-8|
Also in Ohio, two players punched their tickets to Merion from Springfield CC. Brian Stuard and Brandon Brown overcame James Hahn, Derek Ernst, and 35 others to get to Merion.
Stuard took medalist honors, at 11-under, with Brown coming in second, at 5-under.
Springfield Country Club, Springfield, Ohio