Aussies Baddeley, Fraser earn US Open nod

Aaron Baddeley, Marcus Fraser and Brett Drewitt secured US Open berths through 36-hole sectional qualifying sites in the US and England.

aaron baddeley of australia plays his shot during the of the valero texas open at tpc san antonio atampt oaks course in san antonio texas
AARON BADDELEY of Australia plays his shot during the of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course in San Antonio, Texas. Picture: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Aaron Baddeley will contest a third US Open at Pebble beach having snared an 11th-hour ticket through sectional qualifying in Columbus, Ohio.

Baddeley was one of three Australians who boosted the nation's US Open contingent to eight golfers when 36-hole sectional qualifying was staged across 10 sites in the US and internationally on Monday.

Baddeley locked up one of 14 spots on offer from the elite Columbus field, while Marcus Fraser gained entry from Walton Heath Golf Club in England.

Lismore native Brett Drewitt survived perhaps the most gruelling contest of the trio when he won a two-man, sudden-death playoff at Springfield, Ohio for the fifth and last spot on offer there.

The US Open will be Drewitt's major championship debut.

Baddeley shot 70 at Ohio's Brookside Golf Club and then 67 at nearby Scioto Country Club to earn a five-under total, finishing in a share of seventh.

"Sectional qualifying can be stressful; you're coming down the last few holes you knowing what the score is and what you need to do to qualify," Baddeley told AAP.

"If you have a short putt, there is plenty of pressure because there you don't get a second chance to qualify for the US Open. It's all or nothing."

Baddeley contested the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach which Tiger Woods won by 15 shots - the largest margin of victory in a major championship history.

That year, Baddeley received a special exemption from organiser the United States Golf Association following his 1999 and 2000 Australian Open victories.

Baddeley also played in the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach.

The 38-year-old Baddeley said he was ecstatic to return to iconic seaside course in California.

"I'm pretty pumped to get back to Pebble. I love the place," he said.

"I have played the Pebble Beach Pro Am (on the US PGA Tour) almost every year for 10 years."

European Tour veteran Fraser was also buoyed at securing one of 14 spots from the England site.

"I really wanted to tick off playing a US Open at Pebble Beach; it's one of the most iconic golf courses in the world," Fraser said told AAP from England.

"It is definitely a bucket list venue for professionals to play a championship. I've never been there."

Sydney native Matt Jones also qualified from the Dallas, Texas site two weeks ago.

Big-name Australians Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Cameron Smith were already exempt for the US Open.


AAP