Ace gives Hanson US Open spot
Peter Hanson secured a place in the US Open with a spectacular play-off hole-in-one.
Swede Peter Hanson secured a place in next month’s US Open with a spectacular play-off hole-in-one – after making a late change about which club to hit.
Hanson was left battling with Scot Stephen Gallacher and England’s Richard Bland for the last of the 11 spots up for grabs in the 36-hole European qualifier at Walton Heath in Surrey.
The 17th hole on the Old Course measures 206 yards and Hanson said: “I was pumped up so switched from a five iron to a six and knew I had to hit it really well to land it on the front of the green.
“It was just a perfect shot.”
The seventh ace of his career came just two weeks after his sixth during the Irish Open at County Louth.
The play-off on five under par had started with seven players competing for five places and Italian Francesco Molinari, France’s Jean-Francois Lucquin and Hanson’s fellow countryman Johan Edfors went through with birdie threes on the first hole of sudden death.
Molinari thought his chance of playing at Bethpage Black next month might have gone when he was disqualified from the Irish Open after taking the first round lead.
He was hoping to climb into the world’s top 50 and earn a spot that way, but was thrown out for signing for a wrong score on a card marked incorrectly by playing partner Hanson.
First place in the qualifier was shared by England’s Simon Khan and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin on nine under.
Simon Dyson was third one behind and said of the challenge that now awaits him: “I just hope it’s not as hard as Pinehurst was four years ago.
“That was too hard, the most difficult course I’ve ever played. You were hitting four-irons into greens that were designed for wedges.
“You could be stood in the middle of a fairway with like a six iron in your hands thinking ‘How do I hit this on the green?’
“I didn’t play that great to be fair, but I’ve never seen anything like it.” Dyson shot 79, 78 to miss the cut by nine shots.
With Colin Montgomerie among those to withdraw before the start, only four Ryder Cup stars were in the field, but while Paul McGinley, David Howell and Niclas Fasth missed out recent Spanish Open winner Thomas Levet made it through on seven under.
Joint fifth, meanwhile, were South African Andrew McLardy and another Tour rookie David Horsey, the Cheshire 24-year-old who led the BMW PGA Championship after the opening round last Thursday.
Walker Cup squad member Sam Hutsby, the one amateur taking part, was well positioned after a first round of 69, but four-putted the 15th in an afternoon 74 and missed by four.
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr and Irl unless stated):
135 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 67 68, Simon Khan 68 67
136 Simon Dyson 66 70
137 Thomas Levet (Fra) 70 67
138 David Horsey 72 66, Andrew McLardy (Rsa) 71 67
139 Stephen Gallacher 70 69, Jose Manuel Lara (Spa) 72 67, Peter Hanson (Swe) 71 68, Johan Edfors (Swe) 73 66, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 68, Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra) 68 71, Richard Bland 68 71
The following players failed to qualify
140 Nick Dougherty 71 69, Markus Brier (Aut) 70 70, Brett rumford (Aus) 69 71
141 Wade Ormsby (Aus) 74 67, Richie Ramsay 71 70, Alastair Forsyth
71 70, Simon Griffiths 72 69
142 Gareth Maybin 73 69, Paul McGinley 74 68, Oliver Fisher 71 71, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 72 70
143 Chris Wood 73 70, Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 70 73, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 72 71, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 72 71, Jamie Donaldson 73 70, Phillip Archer 74 69, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 71 72, Sam Hutsby 69 74
144 Scott Strange (Aus) 71 73, Richard Finch 72 72, Miguel Rodriguez (Arg) 71 73, Fracois Delamontagne (Fra) 72 72, Paul Waring 72 72
145 Gary Murphy 74 71, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (Den) 70 75, Gregory Havret (Fra) 74 71, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 75 70, Michael Hoey 75 70, Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 69 76, Robert Dinwiddie 74 71, Alvaro Velasco (Spa) 74 71
146 Ross McGowan 72 74
147 Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 74 73, TC Charamba (Zim) 75 72, Christian Nilsson (Swe) 69 78, Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 75 72
148 Shiv Kapur (Ind) 72 76
149 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 71 78, Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 74 75, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 76 73, Steve Webster 76 73
150 Alan McLean 76 74, Benn Barham 73 77
151 Marc Cayeux (Zim) 74 77, Anthony Kang (USA) 77 74, Pablo Martin (Spa) 74 77
153 Merrick Bremner (Rsa) 73 80
154 Magnus Carlsson (Swe) 78 76, David Howell 78 76
WD: Kenneth Ferrie, Tyrone Ferreira (Rsa), Rafa Echenique (Arg), Tano Goya (Arg), Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Pelle Edberg (Swe), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Marcel Siem (Ger), Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg)
Rory McIlroy acknowledges dry spell ahead of Zozo Championship
Rory McIlroy sees this weeks’ Zozo Championship as an opportunity to end his win drought and gain some confidence.
Tiger Woods feeling in form as he returns to Sherwood in build-up to Masters
The 44-year-old is happy with his game as Masters season begins in earnest.
Spain’s Adrian Otaegui finishes with a flourish to win Scottish Championship
The Spaniard now has a professional victory in three different formats of the game.
The Rise of Golf: Increasing Popularity of Golf in the US
Golf is played across the US and it’s gaining popularity amongst many Americans.
Matt Wallace reaping rewards from taking pressure off his performances
There are seven British players in the top ten at Fairmont St Andrews.
Adrian Otaegui sets early pace at Scottish Championship
The Spaniard carded a blemish-free 62.
WATCH: Martin Laird emotional after breaking seven-year title drought
Martin Laird gets a little bit choked up as he savours his first win in seven years.