The drawn-out process of collecting a field for the 2015 United States Open is completed this week with the playing of the PGA Tour’s Fedex St Jude Classic, and Steven Bowditch has a part to play.
Bowditch, the 32-year-old Queenslander, soared into contention for a place in the 156-man field when he won the Byron Nelson tournament a fortnight ago.
While that victory did not earn him a start at Chambers Bay next week, it pushed his world ranking up to a point where one more strong finish would get him into the top 60 in the world. After the St Jude, at TPC Southwind in Memphis this week, anyone in the top 60 who is not otherwise exempt from qualifying will get a start at Chambers Bay next week in the season’s second major.
Bowditch was 127th on the rankings before he won the Nelson tournament in Texas, then 65th, and jumped to 64th after he made the cut last weekend at the Memorial in Ohio. His first priority is to make the cut, but a top-10 finish would surely see him leap into the top 60.
The Queenslander has never played a US Open before.
The Australian contingent of eight for Chambers Bay already includes Adam Scott, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, John Senden, Marcus Fraser, Kurt Barnes, Geoff Ogilvy and Cameron Smith.
Fraser, Barnes and Smith all came through sectional qualifying tournaments in various parts of the world in what must be the most democratic of sporting events.
Ogilvy won the Open at Winged Foot in 2006 giving him a 10-year exemption in the event.
The Australians in action