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Adam Scott is looking to keep alive a major streak that dates to 2001

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LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Adam Scott would rather not miss the cut at any major. His early exit from the PGA Championship two weeks ago was particularly bad timing because it knocked him out of the top 60 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly six years.

It also was the cutoff to be exempt for the U.S. Open, and now the Australian has two weeks to earn a spot at Pinehurst No. 2.

At stake is the longest active streak playing the majors. Scott hasn’t missed one since the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills when he was 20 and just starting out on the European tour.

“I think my game is in better shape than results are showing,” Scott said last week when he arrived at Colonial. “I know pretty much everyone who is not in the top 10 in the world is probably saying that, but that’s how I feel.”

He tied for 12th at Colonial, so he at least has a fighting chance. That moved him up four spots to No. 58. Scott is playing the Canadian Open this week, and the USGA will take the top 60 in the world after the Memorial the following week.

A good performance this week would go a long way. Otherwise, he heads off to 36-hole qualifying the Monday after the Canadian Open.

The last time Scott was out of the top 60, in 2018, he played the U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, and two-putted for par from 30 feet on the last hole to avoid a playoff. That kept his streak alive. Scott said back then his goal was to win the U.S. Open, not just qualify for it. He missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills.

Sergio Garcia has played every U.S. Open dating to 2000 at Pebble Beach, and that streak is in peril after he was the odd man out last week in a 7-for-6 playoff at the 36-hole qualifier in Dallas.

He was first alternate. The U.S. Open will rank the order of alternates from its 13 qualifying sites based on strength of field and how many spots each qualifier received. Spots already are set aside in case anyone — Scott, maybe? — cracks the top 60. So there’s still hope for Garcia.

That isn’t the case for Patrick Reed. He withdrew from the Dallas qualifier and has no other path into the U.S. Open. Reed has played in every major starting with the 2014 Masters.

US OPEN QUALIFYING

The new PGA Tour schedule means a new look for U.S. Open qualifying in Ohio.

For years, the Columbus qualifier used two courses because it was packed with PGA Tour players who had just finished the Memorial. Ohio State’s Scarlet course and Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club were to be used this year.

But now only the Scarlet course is being used for the Columbus qualifier on Monday, and only two players expected to play Memorial will be there.

One big reason is the Memorial is a signature event with about 70 players, down from its usual field of 120 players.

Another is the schedule. The tour previously went from the Memorial to the Canadian Open to the U.S. Open, and qualifying was the Monday between Memorial and Canada.

But the Memorial and Canadian Open have swapped weeks, so the qualifier is the Monday before the Memorial.

Other players in the Memorial field are either staying in Canada if they are playing this week, or going to New Jersey and Florida sites. Only 10 players expected to be at the Memorial are not already exempt for the U.S. Open.

It would appear Adam Scott has one of the four sponsor exemptions for the Memorial because he is signed up for the Springfield, Ohio, site.

SHE CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW

Brooke Henderson showed up on the LPGA Tour last summer with a new look — glasses.

“I’ve always had trouble with my eyesight,” Henderson said ahead of the U.S. Women’s Open. “I’ve never really been able to see the ball land or certain things since the start of my career, but I was a feel player, so I just really leaned into that feel.”

She said she would have to ask her caddie, sister Brittany, where the ball went. Was it on the green, the fringe?

“Then I decided I wanted to be able to see where the ball was going and I wanted to maybe have a little bit better feel around the greens, which I think the glasses really help because I can see it a little clearer,” she said.

Henderson said she did not have contacts but might consider them in a year or two.

“For now, just glasses,” she said.

PGA TOUR U

Massachusetts native and Stanford senior Michael Thorbjornsen is headed straight to the PGA Tour as the No. 1 player in the PGA Tour University ranking.

Thorbjornsen missed the 54-hole cut in the NCAA championship, but his position atop the ranking was secured when British Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht was subbed out of Georgia Tech’s lineup because of a back injury.

Thorbjornsen won three times and made the cut in four professional tournaments over the last two years, included a fourth-place finish at the Travelers Championship in 2022.

He now can accept PGA Tour membership upon turning pro and will be eligible for all open, full-field tournaments the rest of 2024 and all of 2025.

The last player to get the No. 1 ranking was Ludvig Aberg at Texas Tech, and matching the Swede’s feats won’t be easy. Aberg won on the European tour, was picked for the Ryder Cup team and tied the PGA Tour’s 72-hole scoring record by winning at Sea Island.

“PGA Tour U is, I think, one of the best programs in all of sports,” Thorbjornsen said. “What they’ve done, creating a pathway to the PGA Tour … it gives students and us golfers reasons to stay for four years, and you can’t really pass up on the opportunities that they present to you.”

Thorbjornsen missed the fall with a stress fracture in his back and Lamprecht briefly passed him. But Thorbjornsen won the Cabo Collegiate and he finished with five straight top 10s going into the NCAAs.

DIVOTS

Scottie Scheffler closed with a 1-over 71 at Colonial, ending 26 consecutive tournaments where he was par or better in the final round. His previous fourth round over par was a 73 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2023. … Juli Inkster and Jeongeun Lee6 are the only U.S. Women’s Open champions in the last 25 years to record a top 10 in their title defense. … LIV Golf League’s season-ending team championship is moving to Maridoe Golf Club in the Dallas area on Sept. 20-22. It was held last year at Trump National Doral. That gives Texas two LIV events this year.

STAT OF THE WEEK

Five players from Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team are playing the Canadian Open. None of the Americans from Marco Simone is in the field except for captain Zach Johnson.

FINAL WORD

“Bryson was box office and really, really helped that tournament. So yeah, we do miss those guys. As I’ve said before, it’s hard to believe we miss Patrick Reed.” — Padraig Harrington on the PGA Championship.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

By DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

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