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Making their U.S. Open debut

Making their U.S. Open debut

Recent first-time DP World Tour champion Kalle Samooja, Rolex Series winner Min Woo Lee and top 50 player in the Official World Golf Ranking Seamus Power are among eight DP World Tour members who will make their U.S. Open debut at Brookline.

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Finland’s Samooja earned his exemption for the third men’s Major Championship of the year with victory at the Porsche European Open as he qualified via the four-event European Qualifying Series, with Wil Besseling, German duo Marcel Schneider and Yannik Paul along with Richard Mansell securing their spots by finishing in the top ten aggregate points earners, not otherwise exempt.

Also joining them in the 156-player field at The Country Club in Boston is former Challenge Tour Graduate Sean Crocker.

Ahead of this week’s 122nd U.S. Open, we profile the players who are set for their first appearance in golf’s second-oldest Major.

Kalle Samooja

Samooja celebrated his first victory on the DP World Tour in style as he produced a course-record 64 at Green Eagle Golf Courses – regarded as one of the toughest courses visited by the DP World Tour – to win the Porsche European Open earlier in June and finish sixth in the final standings of the 2022 European Qualifying Series. The Finn, who made his Major debut at last year’s US PGA Championship after qualifying via through the Canary Islands Swing, had missed his previous three cuts but produced some sublime golf in Hamburg to overturn a seven-shot deficit going into the final round. The 34-year-old first secured his status on the DP World Tour with victory on the Challenge Tour at the 2018 Hainan Open and missed out on a maiden Tour title in play-offs at both the 2019 Omega European Masters and the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.

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Seamus Power

The Irishman, who will make his first non-Major or WGC appearance on the DP World Tour at the upcoming Horizon Irish Open, booked his first appearance at the U.S. Open by virtue of being inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 23. Power reached a career-high ranking of 40 on the back of his tie for ninth at the US PGA Championship in what was only his second Major appearance after his debut at the Masters in April. He earned his breakthrough PGA TOUR title at the 2021 Barbasol Championship last summer and has registered three worldwide top tens so far this year.

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Marcel Schneider

The German won twice on the Challenge Tour to securereturn to the DP World Tour for 2022 and put together a fine run of form to earn his exemption at the third men’s Major of the year. Schneider, who missed his first six cuts this year, produced a closing three-under 67 at the Porsche European Open to register a top ten finish for the third Tour event in a row as he earned the final qualifying spot available via the European Qualifying Series. The 2022 U.S. Open will be his second Major appearance after he missed the cut at the Open Championship last summer.

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Richard Mansell

The Englishman secured his exemption at the U.S. Open by finishing ninth in the European Qualifying Series after recording three top-ten finishes in the four-event swing of events, including a tie for third at the Porsche European Open. Since being forced to withdraw from the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa in March, Mansell has finished in the top 30 at his last six DP World Tour events – a run of form that has seen him climb 260 places to 273rd in the Official World Golf Rankings. Mansell played all four rounds in his Major debut at The Open last year after coming through Final Qualifying at Hollinwell and will now make his first professional appearance in the USA after enjoying a successful College career at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

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Min Woo Lee

Earlier this year, Lee equalled the course record for the front nine at Augusta National as he finished in a tie for 14th in his first Masters Tournament, and second Major championship start. The Australian has missed the cut in his last three events, but with the defence of his Genesis Scottish Open title a month away he will be determined to see a return to form. The 23-year-old will hope to take inspiration from sister Minjee, who won the Women’s U.S. Open at the start of the month.

Wil Besseling

Speaking midway through the four-event European Qualifying Series in the Player Blog last month, Besseling made clear qualifying for his maiden Major through the European Qualifying Series was a primary objective. The 36-year-old Dutchman bounced back from a missed cut at his national Open to finish as the runner-up in the final event of the European Qualifying Series at the Porsche European Open – his best performance to date on the DP World Tour. Prior to challenging for his maiden Tour title in Germany, Besseling also finished in the top ten at the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain and has paid credit to his coach and caddie for the progress he has made in his game in the last two years.

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Yannik Paul

The German, who earned promotion to the DP World Tour for 2022 after finishing ninth on the Challenge Tour's Road to Mallorca Rankings, is one of two players alongside Besseling who will make his Major debut in Boston. Paul has missed just one cut on Tour this year and booked his spot at the U.S. Open through a runner-up finish at the Soudal Open alongside two top 20s at two of the other four events that consisted of the European Qualifying Series. Ahead of the third men’s Major of the year, he is ranked 19th for Greens in Regulation on the DP World Tour and will hope experience of playing in America on the PGA TOUR serves him well.

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Sean Crocker

Crocker secured his first U.S. Open start by posting an 11-under 131 in final qualifying at River Oaks and Lakewood country clubs in Dallas, Texas last month. That came quickly on the back of finishing tied seventh at the Soudal Open in Belgium – his best performance of the 2022 DP World Tour season. The American has played largely on the DP World Tour in the last three years and registered a creditable five top tens in 2021, including a tie for second at the D+D Real Czech Masters as he narrowly missed out on a maiden Tour title.

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