Three players earn U.S. Open berths in Japan sectional qualifier


Three players punched their 2018 U.S. Open tickets Monday at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Japan.

Japan’s Shota Akiyoshi, Australia’s David Bransdon and China’s Wenchong Liang will play next month at Shinnecock Hills while Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino and Hideto Tanihara are the first and second alternates, respectively.

Akiyoshi, who will be making his major championship debut, shot 69-65 at Japan Memorial Golf Club in Hyogo and won the qualifier at 8 under, a shot better than Bransdon, who shot 63-72, and two better than Liang, who shot 69-67.

Liang, 39, has played in two U.S. Opens and was T-8 at the 2010 PGA Championship.

Notables missing out include Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, who has played in four U.S. Opens; Yuta Ikeda, who started the year at 35th in the Official World Golf Ranking; Australian amateur Min Woo Lee and former Virginia Tech standout Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe.

Eleven more U.S. Open sectionals will be conducted on June 4, including 10 in the U.S. and one in England.

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