News All Articles
Välimäki in it to win it at Winged Foot

Välimäki in it to win it at Winged Foot

Sami Välimäki insists he will not be changing his mindset at the U.S. Open Championship after securing his Major debut via the UK Swing Order of Merit.

Sami Välimäki

It has been quite the year for the Finn, who came through the Qualifying School and then won his first European Tour title in just his sixth start at the Oman Open.

A wonderful weekend at the Celtic Classic last week secured him a top ten and - back at The Celtic Manor Resort - he earned a runner up finish at the 2020 ISPS HANDA Wales Open to clinch one of the ten spots on offer at the season's second Major.

It could have been even better, with an eagle at the ninth sending him to the top of the leaderboard at the turn, but the 22-year-old could not be disappointed despite coming home in 36.

“It was a good day, I just couldn’t find those birdies on the back nine and that let me down for the win but obviously a really good week," he said.

I’m going to go there and try win the tournament, like I do at every tournament

“I think after the seventh when I made birdie I felt like I could win, I had the confidence going but still, even at 14, 15 and 16, all I needed was two or three more birdies. I had those chances but just didn’t make them.

“It is a big bonus for sure to make it into the U.S. Open. It’s awesome, I’ve been waiting such a long time to get into Majors and now is the time. 

"I’m going to go there and try win the tournament, like I do at every tournament.”

For Connor Syme, a place at Winged Foot is just reward for a fortnight in South Wales that could have brought even more.

He led or shared the lead after four of the eight rounds across the two Welsh events but unfortunately for the Scot, none of those leads came on a Sunday.

Connor Syme

He dropped four shots in his last five holes to drop out of contention at the 2020 ISPS HANDA Wales Open but after three consecutive top 20s on the UK Swing, he would not be denied a third Major appearance.

“Obviously I’m bitterly disappointed, it was a really poor final five or six holes for me, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes," he said.

“That will be special to be at the U.S. Open. That was certainly a goal for these UK Swing events, to try and qualify. So obviously I’m delighted to have achieved that.

"It’s obviously sore with today. The goal was to try not to think about that and just try win the golf tournament.

“But unfortunately I just didn’t quite have it today and a few wrong decisions unfortunately and I just didn’t quite have it. But that’s golf and there’ll be a next time.”

Winner Romain Langasque, Justin Hardingand Adrian Otaegui also secured their places at the U.S. Open this week, with Sam Horsfield, Thomas Detry, Andy Sullivan, Rasmus Højgaard and Renato Paratore having already qualified.

Read next