Sam Bairstow joins Robert Rock in qualifying for US Open at Pinehurst

Sam Bairstow’s long-term objective is to be at a standard where he is eligible to play major championships for a multitude of reasons, but until he reaches that level, he is proving quite adept at qualifying for them.

For in three of the last four summers he has managed to negotiate the 36-hole shootouts to earn one of the few spots on offer in major championship fields.

In 2021 and 2022, when he was still an amateur, the left-hander from Hallowes Golf Club successfully negotiated regional and final qualifying to make it to the Open Championship at Royal St George’s and then at St Andrews.

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On Monday, now as a professional, Bairstow secured a spot at the US Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina next month.

Yorkshireman Sam Bairstow has qualified for the US Open at Pinehurst (Picture: Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)Yorkshireman Sam Bairstow has qualified for the US Open at Pinehurst (Picture: Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
Yorkshireman Sam Bairstow has qualified for the US Open at Pinehurst (Picture: Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

He was one of nine players including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari to qualify over the 36-hole format at Walton Heath. Bairstow - who has secured seven top-25 finishes in the last 10 starts of his maiden season on the DP World Tour - needed to hole a nervy seven-footer for par on the 36th hole to sign for rounds of 68, 67 avoiding the prospect of a play-off in the process.

“I started a bit ropey today, but from my ninth hole onwards it was good,” said the Sheffield golfer, 25.

"So I’m really pleased to get it done with that seven-footer at the last. It looked quite slow, but luckily it was straight uphill, so it wasn’t the worst putt.

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“I thought there would just be three or four people coming (from Sheffield) to watch me, so to see 12 or 15 of them was great.

"When you hole a birdie putt it does spur you on, so it was great for them to be out there.”

Bairstow has previously told The Yorkshire Post he may skip qualifying for the Open Championship this summer in favour of playing the two co-sanctioned events between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour in July.

“If everything goes to plan then hopefully I’ll play many more Opens, maybe another five or ten years," he said of his thinking.

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Robert Rock, who stepped back from playing on the DP World Tour after the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, made a remarkable comeback with rounds of 69, 66 to finish alongside Bairstow on nine under par and qualify for the Pinehurst.

“It’s difficult to describe," said Rock. “I really didn’t have any thoughts of qualifying. I thought it was my last chance of playing this event and a good opportunity to see where my game was. While I could still enter, I’d see where I’d fit.”