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Duval, Lehman qualify for US Open, Love fails

FORMER major champions David Duval and Tom Lehman had cause to celebrate on Monday while fellow American Davis Love III and Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal missed out on qualifying for next week's US Open.

Duval, who has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2001 British Open, was among 17 players in a field of 120 at Brookside and The Lakes courses in Columbus, Ohio, who secured spots.

The former world No. 1 carded rounds of 66 and 69 to qualify for his first US Open since 2006.

"I've made no bones about it, I think the two Opens (the U.S. and British) are the two most important tournaments of the year," the 37-year-old Duval told reporters. "I am excited about how I'm playing ... so I'm looking forward to it."

Lehman, British Open champion at Royal Lytham in 1996, also advanced in Columbus after shooting successive scores of 67.

American George McNeill (65, 67) and amateur Kyle Stanley (62, 70) led the way in the 36-hole qualifier with South Africans Charl Schwartzel and James Kamte among those also earning spots.

Australian James Nitties sealed the final place available at Brookside and The Lakes by squeezing through a nine-way sudden-death playoff.

There was disappointment, though, for former major winners - Love, Olazabal and American Lee Janzen who all failed to qualify.

Love, whose only major victory came in the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot, ended up two strokes short of joining the playoff for the last spot, ending a run of 18 consecutive US Open appearances.

Janzen, a twice US Open champion, was a further two shots back, one ahead of double US Masters winner Olazabal.

US Ryder Cup player J.J. Henry and Britain's Martin Laird were among 13 players who made it through from a field of 112 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Long-hitting John Daly, a twice major champion, and Germany's Alex Cejka failed to advance there.

Eight-time PGA Tour winner Fred Funk, aged 52, became the oldest qualifier for this year's US Open when he booked his place along with six others in Rockville, Maryland.

Sixty-three spots were up for grabs in sectional qualifying at 13 venues on Monday for the second major of the season.


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