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Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 11:30 UK
US Open 2008
Torrey Pines, CA - 12-16 June, 2008

Venue: Torrey Pines, La Jolla, California Date: 12-15 June
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 Live, Text commentary on BBC Sport website from 1600 BST

Gary Wolstenholme (right) & Andrew Cotter
Gary Wolstenholme (right) & Andrew Cotter (pic by Matthew Harris / TGPL)

English amateur Gary Wolstenholme has been handed a first US Open start after American Sean O'Hair withdrew.

O'Hair pulled out with a chest muscle injury, meaning the 47-year-old Wolstenholme will tee off in the year's second major on Thursday.

Wolstenholme will partner South African Richard Sterne and America's Hunter Mahan in the first two rounds at Torrey Pines near San Diego in California.

BBC Radio 5 Live golf reporter Andrew Cotter will be his caddie.

"You couldn't wipe the smile off my face," Wolstenhome told 5 Live.

"Having come close so often it's great to get in this time."

Cotter explained his delight about his unexpected new role.

"Iain Carter (BBC golf correspondent) said it was because I had the right shoes but really I think it's because the bag is far too heavy for Iain," he said.

"The tour bag is massive and I was struggling after the practice round.

"Gary is a true amateur and playing golf around the world is expensive so he was looking for a mug to do it for nothing - and I was that mug."

Wolstenholme, the 1991 and 2003 British Amateur champion and five-time Walker Cup team member, came through sectional qualifying on 2 June at Walton Heath to earn the first alternate spot.

The Englishman was already at the San Diego venue in preparation but as a reserve he was not allowed to practise on the 7,643-yard, par-71 Torrey Pines South course.

Iain Carter - 5 Live golf correspondent

Wolstenholme was the last player to beat Woods when the world number one was an amateur.

He triumphed in a singles match on the opening day of the 1995 Walker Cup, the biennial tournament that pits amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland against a team from the United States.

see also
US Open 2008 photos
10 Jun 08 |  Golf
Ken Brown's US Open preview
11 Jun 08 |  Golf
California dreaming
10 Jun 08 |  Golf

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