Former Illini Luke Guthrie qualified for the 2013 British Open on Monday.
May 21, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Former University of Illinois men's golfer Luke Guthrie qualified for his first major tournament on Monday, finishing in the top eight at the British Open's American International Final Qualifying tournament at the par-70, 6,905-yard Queens Course at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas. Guthrie, who finished at 4-under-par 136 in the 36-hole tournament, was one of three players who made par on the first sudden-death playoff hole, while Andres Echvarria bogeyed the par-3 17th hole to end the playoff.
Guthrie advances to The British Open at Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland July 18-21. But it may not be his first major tournament by the time he plays it, as he has three remaining opportunities to qualify for this year's U.S. Open. Guthrie, who currently ranks No. 68 in the World Golf Rankings, can qualify automatically for the U.S. Open by ranking in the top 60 after this weekend's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The U.S. Open will be held June 10-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
If that doesn't happen, he will play in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, June 3. He also can qualify for the U.S. Open by standing in the top 60 of the World Golf Rankings after the FedEx St. Jude Classic, which runs June 6-9 in Memphis, Tenn.
In addition to Guthrie, former Illini Steve Stricker has earned an exemption into the U.S. Open as a result of qualifying for the season-ending 2012 Tour Championship. Illinois head coach Mike Small and current players Thomas Pieters and Alex Burge also will compete in U.S. Open sectional qualifiers on June 3. Senior Mason Jacobs is a first alternate for a spot in a sectional qualifier, should a player withdraw.