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Published: Thursday, 6/3/2010

St. John's junior Balcar will have chance to qualify for U.S. Open


DUBLIN, Ohio — The United States Golf Association yesterday granted Vijay Singh a special exemption from qualifying for the upcoming U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and that means Toledo teen Michael Balcar will get a shot at making the field too.

Singh, who did not automatically qualify for the Open for the first time in many years, had reserved a spot in the field at an Open sectional qualifier to be held in Columbus on Monday.

When Singh accepted the exemption, that qualifying spot instead went to Balcar, who was the first alternate after shooting a 73 at a local qualifying tournament held recently at Maumee Bay State Park.

Balcar, 17, is finishing his junior year at St. John's Jesuit High School. He is a two-time All-City League golfer and finished 14th in last fall's Division I state tournament.

The 36-hole Monday qualifier will be held at both The Lakes and Brookside golf clubs in the Columbus area. It is the largest sectional qualifier in the country because it is the location where most PGA Tour pros, fresh from participating in the Memorial Tournament, register to play.

Singh, meanwhile, is safely in the field for a 64th consecutive major championship appearance, golf's longest current streak.

— Dave Hackenberg

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