Ames and Durant qualify for U.S. Open

Canadian Stephen Ames and American Joe Durant were among nine players who booked their places at next week's U.S. Open in a weather-delayed sectional qualifier in Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday.

A heavy thunderstorm at Germantown Country Club on Monday had forced the 36-hole qualifier into a second day before Ames and Durant finally emerged among the fortunate nine, posting matching totals of eight-under-par 134.

PGA Tour rookie Tommy Biershenk led the way at nine-under.

Trinidad-born Ames will be making his 10th U.S. Open appearance, having previously recorded three top-10 finishes with a best result of joint ninth at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.

Also advancing to the June 14-17 U.S. Open in San Francisco were PGA Tour players Joe Ogilvie, Bill Lunde, Hunter Haas and Roberto Castro, plus Aaron Watkins and amateur Hunter Hamrick.

Castro secured the final spot in a three-way playoff with Kyle Thompson and amateur Bobby Wyatt.

Among those missing out in a field of 74 at Germantown Country Club were tour veterans Justin Leonard, David Duval, Jeff Maggert and Lee Janzen, who won the last U.S. Open played at Olympic, in 1998.

Earlier on Tuesday, American Nick Sherwood knocked in a three-foot par putt to beat fellow amateur Daniel Miernicki in a playoff for the final spot at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Oregon.

Oregon coach Casey Martin had claimed the first of the two places available in gathering gloom on Monday and will return to the U.S. Open for the first time since the 1998 edition at Olympic.

Martin, who has a rare circulatory disorder in his right leg, won a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in 2001 for the right to use a golf cart during competition. However, he has not played professionally in six years.

"Going back to the U.S. Open? It's surreal," Martin told reporters. "I think there will be a lot of attention. But controversy, no. We've been through all of that."

Further spots in the U.S. Open field will be earned via the world rankings on June 11.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)