Lowry qualifies for US Open but it's playoff agony for Power

Lowry qualifies for US Open but it's playoff agony for Power
Shane Lowry. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Shane Lowry. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Shane Lowry brilliantly qualified for his sixth US Open as Seamus Power agonisingly lost out in an 11-way playoff for three spots in Memphis and must return to the course at 7am to battle for an alternate's spot

It was a fraught end to the day for Irish golf after Padraig Harrington, Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan and Paul McBride all missed out at Walton Heath.

Without a top-10 since last year's DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, Lowry (31) opened with nine pars before rattling four birdies for a four-under 68 at Lakes Golf & Country Club in Columbus to share 14th place in a 120-man race for 14 spots in his Sectional Qualifier.

Columbus scores

He then turned on the jets again in the afternoon, following up with an immaculate, five-under 67 at Brookside Golf & Country Club to tie for top spot with Korea's Sungjae Im on nine-under par and join  Rory McIlroy and  Graeme McDowell at Shinnecock Hills.

It was a different story for Power, who opened with a one-under 71 at Colonial Country Club in Memphis before caressing his first major appearance at Ridgeway Country Club in the afternoon.

Memphis scores

Starting on the back nine, the West Waterford talent made five birdies in an outward 31, bogeyed the par three to third to slip outside the qualifying places but then birdied the fourth and eagled the par-five fifth to move inside the top eight on eight-under par.

But he bogeyed his final hole, the par-three ninth, but even after signing for a 65, he lost out in an 11-man playoff for just three spots on seven-under.

Aaron Wise, who needed a birdie on the last just to make the playoff, birdied the first extra hole (the 432-yard 10th) in the first group.

Matt Jones birdied in the next group before Eric Axley then holed out from the rough for an eagle two to claim the final spot, leaving the others stunned.

Power had to play on for an alternate spot and was one of five left standing when play was suspended until 7 am.

Earlier in the day, Harrington missed out on the trip to the US Open for the fifth year in a row when he finished a shot outside an eight-man playoff for the last of 14 spots on four-under par.

Dunne,  Moynihan and McBride were also in action but they will also be watching the Shinnecock Hills action from the sofa.

After opening with a two-under 70 on the Old Course, Harrington scorched up the leaderboard and looked set to qualify for his 17th US Open, and his first since Merion in 2013, when he birdied four of his first five holes in the afternoon.

He was sitting pretty in fourth place at one stage, but while he turned in 31, he came home in 39, mixing three bogeys with a solitary birdie to finish tied 23rd on four-under.

Dunne also opened with a 70 but while he got to four under with four to play, he double-bogeyed the 15th on the New Course and bogeyed the next two before a birdie at the last left him tied 50th on one-under after a 73.

Moynihan opened with a 69 but turned in 40 in the afternoon and shot 78 to finish tied 69th on three over.

His former Irish amateur teammate and fellow clubmate from The Island, Paul McBride, shot rounds of 74 and 75 to finish 74th on five-over on his professional debut.

England’s Andrew Johnston and James Morrison topped the qualifiers on  10-under par with Sunday's Italian Open winner Thorbjorn Olesen also making it on six-under after rounds of 67 and 71.

England's Paul Waring won the 14th and final spot at Walton Heath after a marathon playoff, seeing off Ryan Evans on the fourth extra hole as darkness fell.

"I'm obviously made up now," said Waring, who opened with a 64 and was nine-under with nine holes go in the afternoon before lurking home in 41 for a 75.

"I was absolutely devastated after the back nine today so it was nice to putt it right in the playoff and come through."