Steve Stricker. Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar

WISCONSIN – US Presidents Cup captain and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker came out of semi-retirement to seek a spot in the first US Open to be played in his home state and realised his goal on Monday at a qualifying event in Memphis.

The 50-year-old Stricker shot rounds of 67 and 65 for a 10-under-par 132 that assured he would be one of nine players from the event who advanced to the year’s second major, which will be played from June 15 to 18 at Erin Hills.

Stricker, who is 84th in the world rankings, was denied a special exemption to the Open and so ramped up his schedule this year with hopes of playing his way into an event that will be held about a 75-minute drive from his home.

Stricker, who is certain to be a big draw at Erin Hills and is fully exempt to play in his first U.S. Senior Open in late June, was among 902 golfers competing in sectional qualifiers in 10 different locations for 72 spots at the U.S. Open.

Meanwhile, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington has withdrawn from this week’s PGA Tour St. Jude Classic in Memphis after suffering an elbow injury in a bizarre accident.

The Irish veteran said on Twitter that he had received six stitches in the joint after being struck with a golf club by an amateur taking a practice swing.

“I was coaching at an outing,” Harrington said. “Thankfully nothing was broken, just six stitches. I’ll be out for 12 days or so to let the stitches heal.”

Harrington, 45, did not say where or when the accident happened, but suggested the injury could have been worse.

“I thought it was the end of me playing competitive golf,” he tweeted.

“There’s no truth in the rumour that it was the amateur’s best strike of the day.”

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