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Veteran golfer Robert Rock secures surprise US Open spot at Walton Heath

England's Robert Rock was a surprise name among the nine players to secure US Open qualification at Walton Heath on Monday.

Rock, who stepped back from playing on the DP World Tour in 2022 and has not appeared in an overseas major since 2012, carded rounds of 69 and 66 to finish on nine under par.

"It is difficult to describe," the 47-year-old said. "I really didn't have any thoughts of qualifying.

"I thought it was my last chance of playing this event and a good opportunity to see where my game was, having been out of it for a couple of years."

English pair Richard Mansell and Brandon Robinson-Thompson topped the leaderboard on 10 under, along with Scotland's Grant Forrest, with Rock and another Englishman, Sam Bairstow, one shot behind.

The four remaining berths were filled by Northern Ireland's Tom McKibbin, who will make his debut in a major, 2010 Ryder Cup winner Edoardo Molinari, Jason Scrivener and Matteo Manassero.

Molinari's brother, former Open champion Francesco, was among 11 players who qualified in Dallas.

But former Masters champion Sergio Garcia missed out as he double-bogeyed the 16th hole in his second round and then bogeyed the first extra hole in a seven-way playoff for the final six spots on offer.

He is now relying on somebody withdrawing to play his 25th consecutive US Open, but Patrick Reed — another former Masters champion — will miss a major for the first time in 10 years after withdrawing.

The US Open takes place at Pinehurst, North Carolina from June 13-16.

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