Khan continues Wentworth fizz in U.S. Open qualifying

By Bernie McGuire

WALTON HEATH, England (Reuters) - Simon Khan celebrated his PGA Championship victory on Sunday with a glass or two of champagne but was out on course 12 hours later to make a solid start to U.S. Open qualifying.

The 37-year-old Briton, who became the first invited player to win the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth on Sunday, continued his good form by carding a 67 to be two strokes off the lead halfway through the 36-hole event.

The top 11 in the 78-strong field at Walton Heath qualify for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in California next month.

"I decided after a couple of glasses of champagne that it seemed like a good idea to play today," Khan told Reuters, one day after his shock win.

"I missed the first year here at Walton Heath in 2005 as that was the year my daughter was born but I've been coming back since 2006 and it was only last year that I qualified for my first U.S. Open.

"But then a lot of people said to me after I missed the cut at Bethpage Park by a stroke that I wished I had never went.

"So if it had gone the other way at Bethpage Park and I made the cut then it could have transformed my year so that I may not have had to go to the Q-School."

Khan was forced to go to Qualifying School last year and competed at the PGA Championship thanks to a sponsor's invite.

Khan shares third place with fellow Englishman Gary Boyd along with Frenchman Julian Quesne and Scotland's Richie Ramsay.

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie carded a two-under par 70 but the Scot said he needed a 67 or better in his second round if he was to be returning to Pebble Beach.

Montgomerie made his U.S. Open debut on the California course in 1992 and finished third behind American Tom Kite.

(Editing by Justin Palmer)