8 Jun 2016

Tim Wilkinson off to first major

12:50 pm on 8 June 2016

New Zealand golfer Tim Wilkinson will make his first appearance at a major after qualifying for the US Open.

Tim Wilkinson

Tim Wilkinson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 37-year-old finished in outright second at the qualifying tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, which is just half an hour from where he now lives.

Wilkinson had to wait an extra day to finish his second round, after bad weather called an early end to play on Monday.

After shooting a three-under 69 in the first round, the left-hander shot a four-under 68 to finish seven-under for the tournament, two shots behind leader Australian Aron Price.

The top four from the qualifier get a start at the US Open, which starts next week at Oakmont in Pennsylvania.

The result didn't come without controversy though, Wilkinson had to call an infraction on his playing partner Won Jun Lee on the pair's second hole of the day, according to Golfweek.

Lee tapped down his pitch mark behind his ball on the par four 11th which is a violation of Rule 13-2, standing nearby, Wilkinson saw the incident and reported it to match officials.

The high school junior was subsequently penalised two shots and finished the tournament at five under, one shot off qualifying.

The Palmerston North-born Wilkinson qualified for the 2009 British Open, the year's third major, but had to pull out before teeing off his first round due to a thumb injury.

Wilkinson, who turned pro in 2003, joined the Web.com Tour in 2005 and obtained his PGA TOUR card at qualifying school in 2007.

He is currently on the PGA tour after gaining his card in the last tournament of last season.

Wilkinson needed a top 25 finish at the event to gain his place on the tour and finished tied for 20th to seal the deal.

He's made more than $US3.2 million in prize money in his career, and has eight top ten PGA tour finishes to his name.

His best result was joint runner-up at the Valero Texas Open in his rookie PGA tour season in 2008.

-RNZ

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