Tuesday, 29 May 2012
 Soren Kjeldsen   (Getty Images)
Soren Kjeldsen (Getty Images)

Søren Kjeldsen will benefit from the experience of playing in three previous US Open Championships when he heads to the Olympic Club in California, after coming through Qualifying at Walton Heath Golf Club on Monday.

The Dane was tied 33rd at Pebble Beach in 2010, having missed the cut at Oakmont in 2007 and finished tied 52nd at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005, and is delighted to have earned another shot at one of the biggest tournaments in golf.

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I thought I played well, but I wasn’t sure if seven under was going to be enough, so I was pleasantly surprised. My game is in good shape and I’ve been playing nicely. I was ill up until Wentworth last week and I struggled a little bit there, so I’m pleased I’ve come here and played well.

“When you’re here in Surrey, sometimes you can forget it’s all for the US Open. It’s the real deal. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in it before and I can’t wait to have another chance.”

Italian teenager Matteo Manasser is another player looking to build on past experiences in the second Major Championship of the season. He finished tied 54th on his debut at Congressional last year and made sure he will be back for another bite of the cherry by coming through a five-man play-off at Walton Heath.

“It feels great,” said the two-time European Tour winner. “It’s sudden death for the chance to play in a Major, so it was nerve-wracking for everyone.

“It feels great to be going back to the US Open. It’s another great chance to test myself against the best players in the world. I hope I can make the cut and play well.”

Raphaël Jacquelin also made it through the play-off, where four spots from five players were up for grabs, and said: “We all want to play in the Majors, that’s what being a pro is all about. The only one I haven’t played is the Masters, so maybe next year. This year I’ve already qualified now for the US Open and The Open Championship, so I’m very happy.”

Mikko Ilonen, another qualifier, who missed the cut in his one previous US Open, in 2010, added: “I hit pretty much all of the par fives in two, so that was the key today. It’s my second time qualifying for the US Open and it feels amazing. I know what to expect now over there and that will help when it comes to preparing for it.”

Swede Alex Noren, who topped the pile at Walton Heath with a score of nine under, was tied 51st on his US Open debut last year. He said: “I’m delighted. I was very tight this morning after Wentworth last week, so I was really happy to play well.”

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