Despite consistently heavy rain, Lowry carded rounds of
three-under-par 69 on the New Course in the morning and five-under
67 on the Old in the afternoon to lead 14 successful qualifiers from
a starting field of 105 at Walton Heath, Surrey.
"It was really tough out there," Lowry, a double winner on the
European Tour, told reporters. "I played okay and putted really,
"I holed a lot of six to eight footers for par and carried a lot of
momentum in from yesterday to get the job done.
"It was tough last week (at Wentworth) and then 36 holes in this
weather was very tiring. I'm looking forward to my bed tonight."
The 27-year-old Irishman, who finished one stroke behind winner Rory
McIlroy at Wentworth, is eagerly anticipating his second U.S. Open
appearance, having missed the cut on his championship debut at
Congressional in 2011.
"I can't wait to get to Pinehurst," said Lowry, referring to the
Pinehurst No. 2 course in Pinehurst, North Carolina which will stage
the year's second major from June 12-15.
"Majors are where I want to be playing. Last week I was comfortable
competing down the stretch with the likes of Thomas Bjorn, Rory
McIlroy and Luke Donald, so I've got a lot of confidence and I'll
take that with me to Pinehurst."
Also qualifying for Pinehurst on Monday were Swede Niclas Fasth,
Englishmen Simon Griffiths and Graeme Storm, Germany's Marcel Siem
and Max Kieffer, Scotsman Chris Doak, South African Garth Mulroy,
India's Shiv Kapur and American Brooks Koepka.
[to top of second column]
Six golfers had to play off for the final four spots on offer for
the U.S. Open and those places were secured by England's Oliver
Fisher and Tom Lewis, Italy's Andrea Pavan and Dane Lucas
A further 10 sectional qualifiers will take place in the United
States on June 2 for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, where
England's Justin Rose will defend the title he clinched by two shots
at Merion last year.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank
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