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Sergio Garcia’s LIV Golf gamble pays off as he’s handed US Open lifeline



Sergio Garcia has become the 10th LIV Golf player in the field at this week’s US Open after sneaking into the field as an alternate, banishing the woes of missing out in a seven-for-six playoff

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 10: Sergio Garcia of Spain plays a tee shot on the fourth hole during a practice round prior to the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia said it was a “great feeling” after the LIV Golf star sneaked into this week’s US Open field as an alternate.

It appeared the Spaniard’s 24-year streak of playing in the major was over after he missed out in final qualifying in Dallas last month. Garcia has plummeted down the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) since joining the unsanctioned LIV two years ago.

And his five-year exemption for the US Open from winning the 2017 Masters has elapsed, meaning he had to play in a qualifying event to try to earn a place in the field at Pinehurst No. 2. Garcia played in the Texas qualifier at Dallas Athletic Club on May 20 and looked set to earn his spot with a stellar opening round of five-under-par, but a second loop of two-over forced him into a seven-man playoff, with six places at Pinehurst up for grabs.

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It seemed the 44-year-old had blown his chance to tee it up in North Carolina when he was eliminated on the first playoff hole, carding a bogey when every other player made par or better. However, Garcia was one of four alternates who were added to the field by the United States Golf Association on Monday.

Otto Black and Maxwell Moldovan got in as alternates after near misses in the Columbus and Springfield qualifiers respectively, while Amateur Brendan Valdes has also received an invitation after coming up just short in the Jupiter qualifier.

“Made it,” a relieved Garcia posted on X on Monday. “I wasn’t ready to break 25 consecutive years of playing in the U.S. Open just yet. Great feeling to be headed to Pinehurst tomorrow.”

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