Two Brothers Qualify for U.S. Open at Pinehurst, Sergio Garcia Misses in Playoff

The 2017 Masters champion was the odd man out of a 7-for-6 playoff in Dallas but got a first-alternate position.
Team Europe vice-captain Edoardo Molinari (left) and vice-captain Francesco Molinari hold the Ryder Cup after winning in 2023.
Team Europe vice-captain Edoardo Molinari (left) and vice-captain Francesco Molinari hold the Ryder Cup after winning in 2023. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Molinari brothers of Italy will play in next month’s U.S. Open after advancing from qualifiers Monday on two continents.

Francesco Molinari advanced from Dallas while his older brother, Edoardo, advanced from a qualifier in England. Francesco survived a seven-way playoff that awarded six Open spots and the odd man out was LIV Golf’s Sergio Garcia, bogeying the first playoff hole. The 2017 Masters champion has the first alternate spot from the site and will need some luck to play in his 25th consecutive U.S. Open.

Garcia’s teammate on LIV Golf’s Fireballs GC team, Eugenio Chacarra, advanced from Dallas without the stress of the playoff and will make his first major start. The medalist at the Dallas Athletic Club was Nico Echavarria, the winner of last year’s Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour.

The day’s third qualifier was held in Japan and among the players advancing was Ryo Ishikawa, 32, an 18-time winner on the Japan Tour with two runner-ups on the PGA Tour.

The Molinari brothers have played in five U.S. Opens together, most recently in 2021. Francesco, 41, won the 2018 British Open, along with two other wins on the PGA Tour and five on the DP World Tour. Edoardo, 43, was the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion and has won three times on the DP World Tour. 

Among those also advancing from England’s Walton Heath Golf Club are Matteo Manaserro and Robert Rock. Manaserro, a 31-year-old Italian, won on the DP World Tour at age 17 and broke an 11-year winless drought on that Tour with a win in March.

Rock is a bit of a blast from the past; the 47-year-old has been more of a swing coach and soccer dad recently than an active player, in 2010 the Englishman was a sensation in finishing T7 at the British Open. His last U.S. Open start was in 2012 and he is currently ranked 2,035th in the world.

Ten more final qualifiers will be held Monday, June 3. The United States Golf Association announced Monday that 30 more players are exempt for the championship, based on top-60 Official World Golf Ranking, top five in the current PGA Tour FedEx Cup standings and top two from the final 2023 DP World Tour Race to Dubai rankings, if they were not otherwise exempt. Among those getting exemptions are 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose and world No. 6 Ludvig Aberg.

The U.S. Open begins at Pinehurst No. 2 on June 13.

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John Schwarb


John Schwarb is the senior golf editor for Sports Illustrated whose career has spanned more than 25 years covering sports. He’s been featured on,, The Golfers Journal and Tampa Bay Times. He’s also the author of The Little 500: The Story of the World's Greatest College Weekend. A member of the Golf Writers Association of America, John is based in Indianapolis.