04 Jun 2024 | Professional golf |

Davis out-duels Scott to clinch US Open spot

by Tony Webeck

Cam Davis and Adam Scott at Aus PGA
Cam Davis edged childhood idol Adam Scott in a playoff to secure a US Open berth. Photo: PGA of Australia

Adam Scott’s record streak of major championship appearances could end at the hands of fellow Australian Cam Davis after the pair played out a gripping playoff at US Open Qualifying in Ohio.

Davis’s childhood idol was a Presidents Cup teammate and fourball partner less than two years ago but on what has become known as golf’s longest day, it was Scott that stood between Davis and a start at next week’s US Open at Pinehurst No.2.

Among the 64 starters vying for four spots at Springfield Country Club, Davis and Scott finished level after 36 holes at 7-under par.

But that would be just the start of the drama.

Seeking to extend his run of 91 consecutive majors dating back to the 2001 Open Championship, Scott chipped in on the first playoff hole, only to watch on as Davis converted his birdie chance from just outside 12 feet to extend the playoff to a second hole.

The pair split the second playoff hole with pars before Davis stepped up and hit his approach shot at the third playoff hole to tap-in range, Scott coming up short in his attempt to conjure a birdie of his own.

Currently ranked No.60 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Scott won’t have the opportunity to improve his ranking before the qualification cut-off on Monday, his status as first alternate now subject to the USGA’s ruling on how to treat Grayson Murray’s place in the field.

Ranked No.58 in the world at the end of the May 20 qualifying period, Murray was exempt for the US Open prior to his tragic passing two weeks ago, the USGA still to determine whether that spot will be reallocated.

It could open the door for Scott to play major number 92, a streak Davis was unaware he was potentially ending.

“I was not aware of that,” Davis told Golf Channel after playing his 39th and final hole of the day.

“I don’t think I would have tried any less… damn. It just goes to show how good a player he is. I had to hit a cracking shot to get on top of him.

“He’s been an idol of mine; it was great to play great golf against him.

“Hopefully he still finds a way in. He’s right on the bubble world-ranking wise so fingers crossed we can both be there. That would be a lot of fun.”

Finishing outside the top 35 in each of his past four starts on the PGA TOUR, Davis’s best result this year is a tie for 12th at The Masters at Augusta National.

Scheduled to play the Memorial Tournament this week, Davis was not only excited by the form he showed across more than two rounds on Monday but the prospect of playing Pinehurst for the first time.

“It’s one of those courses you have grown up seeing multiple times; you just want to get out there and see what it’s like,” said the 29-year-old from Sydney.

“Great golf here is a great stepping stone to playing great golf there.

“It’s going to be a completely different golf course – and we’ve got a completely different tournament next week which will be very different to the week after.

“I’ve got to adjust from where I’m at now for next week and then hopefully the legs are still fresh and we can turn around and play some great golf the week after.

“I’m glad I’ve got the opportunity and I’d love to take it with both hands.”

Davis was the only Australian to earn a spot through Final Qualifying on Monday with Daniel Gale (Ohio State University Golf Club), Rhein Gibson (Duke University Golf Club), Harrison Crowe (Canoe Brook Country Club), Lucas Herbert, Marc Leishman, Karl Vilips (all Woodmont Country Club), Aiden Didone, Scott Hend (both The Bear’s Club), Harrison Endycott (Cherry Hill Club) and Grant Booth, Matt Jones and Wade Ormsby (all Lake Merced Golf Club) all missing out.

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