COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rickie Fowler narrowly got – a roll of the ball – in his final attempt to avoid another major when he failed US Open qualifiers on Tuesday.
Fowler had five holes to play in qualifying with delayed rain on Tuesday morning at Brookside and The Lakes, and he took three birdies. From the back of the 18th green, his chip was about a full turn too short before pulling to the right.
This left him 1 shot from the 5-for-4 playoff for the remaining places at the US Open next week in Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Chez Reavie and Erik van Rooyen of South Africa led the field in Ohio, the largest of nine US Open qualifiers in the country, because of so many PGA Tour players in the field.
A pair of Texas Walker Cup players, Cole Hammer and Pierceson Coody, were part of the five-way playoff. Hammer was the strange man who bogeyed on the second additional hole to be the first replacement.
Fowler, who shot 66, stayed at The Lakes to compete in a 12-man playoff for a seat to determine who would be the second alternative from Ohio, even though that player was virtually certain not to play in the US Open .
Former major champions Padraig Harrington, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner were among those who joined Fowler with 5 under 139, 1 stroke shorter.
The Californian qualification also crossed the finish line on Tuesday.
Fowler has not missed the US Open since 2010 and had to go through the 36-hole qualifying because of his crash in the world rankings well beyond the top 60 in the world, which were excluded from qualifying.
He started badly at Brookside with a 1-over 73 so he needed a low at The Lakes. This is the second big Fowler missed this year (with the Masters) after playing in all previous games, starting with the British Open at St. Andrews in 2010.
“I’m obviously disappointed. I should have done it pretty easily,” said Fowler. “Don’t play that well [at Brookside] and being around a spot is a shame. But I love where my game is and where it’s going. When you look at the big picture, there is a lot of good ahead of us. “
He returned Tuesday morning and drew a 7-iron on par-3 14, but then pocketed a 12-yard birdie putt. Fowler hit # 15 with a wedge at 12 feet and narrowly missed the birdie. His 7-iron at 15 feet on the par-5 16th gave him a good look at Eagle, which he missed.
He also missed from 15 feet for birdie on the 17th, all the putts that came off hard on the hole. On the 18th, Fowler caught a flyer over the green. His pitch landed softly and was on his way to the birdie cup when he came up short.
“One more roll and it would probably have gone in,” he said.
He played alongside Coody, a grandson of the 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody. Pierceson Coody was tied with Fowler when his approach to the 18th hole was 3 feet from the hole, giving him a birdie to advance to the playoff.