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Northern Ireland's Meadow has sights on US Open glory


By Robert Jones

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow will bid for US Women's Open joy next month after securing her place in the field on Monday. The 25-year-old Jordanstown woman earned her spot in the event in a qualifier at Hidden Creek Golf Club in New Jersey.

It was in the US Open that Meadow first burst onto the scene, finishing a brilliant third in 2014 in her professional debut.

She is 131st in this season's LPGA rankings with her best finish a share of 31st in the Bahamas in January. Meadow has missed the cut in five of her seven events so far in 2017.

Joining Meadow in the US Open field at Trump National in New Jersey will be Cavan's Leona Maguire, the women's World No.1 amateur.

Meanwhile, three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington has withdrawn from this week's FedEx St Jude Classic after being hit on the elbow by an amateur during a coaching session.

Harrington has played just seven events in 2017 after undergoing surgery on a trapped nerve in his neck in March, but had been due to play his third tournament in succession in Memphis.

The 45-year-old Irishman wrote on Twitter: "Just withdrawn from @PGATOUR @fesjcmemphis this week. I was hit on the elbow with a practice swing by an amateur I was coaching at an outing."

It was not immediately apparent how serious Harrington was when he added: "Thankfully nothing was broken, just six stitches. I thought it was the end of me playing competitive golf."

However, his sense of humour looked to be firmly intact when he concluded: "There's no truth in the rumour that it was the amateur's best strike of the day @fesjcmemphis @PGATOUR."

Harrington said he expects to be out of action for around 12 days. The Dubliner failed to secure a place in next week's US Open - the second Major of the year - via the 36-hole qualifier at Walton Heath last week.

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