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Originally published Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Fred Couples won't play at Open

After playing four difficult days at the Memorial, Davis Love III made it through 36 holes on Monday to qualify for his 18th consecutive...

The Associated Press

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio — After playing four difficult days at the Memorial, Davis Love III made it through 36 holes on Monday to qualify for his 18th consecutive trip to the U.S. Open.

Fred Couples of Seattle and several other PGA Tour players weren't nearly so fortunate.

Love's streak of 70 consecutive majors ended when he failed to qualify for the Masters, and there were no guarantees he would play in the next major until he followed a 72 at Brookside with a 5-under 66 at the tougher Ohio State Scarlet Course to become one of 23 players at the sectional qualifier to earn a trip to Torrey Pines.

It was one of 13 qualifiers held Monday in the United States, with another one in Europe.

Clemson's Kyle Stanley, a Gig Harbor resident who attended Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep, qualified at Brookside with a 137.

Washington's Nick Taylor, who competed against Stanley in the NCAA championships this past weekend and finished tied for second, earned one of two spots in Creswell, Ore. Former Husky Rob Rashell earned the other.

Neither Ryan Moore of Puyallup nor Michael Putnam of Tacoma, who played at Columbus, qualified.

Most of the PGA Tour players were at the Columbus sectional, having been in town for the Memorial. Love and Couples each played four days at Muirfield Village, then had to get up before the break of dawn.

"It's a long week," Love said. "That was a long, hard golf course to play and then to do anything on Monday, much less play 36 holes ... I know the guys that played four rounds over there were battle-tested, but they were also tired."

Couples, who had said this might be the last time he tries to qualify, opened with a 69 at Brookside, but a 72 on the Scarlet kept him out of the playoff by two shots. He didn't sign his scorecard and was disqualified.

Carl Pettersson was the medalist at 131, followed by Bart Bryant at 134. In other sectionals:

• Mark O'Meara, who now competes on the 50-and-older Champions Tour, qualified in Lake Forest, Ill., where five players competing in a playoff for the final spot were not likely to finish until today.

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• Among those who failed to qualify in Tennessee was Paul Goydos, who lost in a playoff at The Players Championship.

• In England, Robert Dinwiddie birdied six of his last eight holes, including an 8-footer on the 18th at Walton Heath, to earn one of seven spots. Nearly 20 players withdrew, so the USGA awarded seven spots to European Tour players instead of 10.

Note

Tiger Woods has started playing some holes, taking another step in his comeback from knee surgery. The world's No. 1 golfer had surgery on his left knee April 15 and plans to end his layoff June 12-15 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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