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Adam Scott trying to keep alive major streak that dates to 2001

Adam Scott would rather not miss the cut at any major. His early exit from the PGA Championship two weeks ago was particularly bad timing because it knocked him out of the top 60 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly six years.

It also was the cutoff to be exempt for the U.S. Open, and now the Australian has two weeks to earn a spot at Pinehurst No. 2.

At stake is the longest active streak playing the majors. Scott hasn’t missed one since the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills when he was 20 and just starting out on the European tour.

“I think my game is in better shape than results are showing,” Scott said last week when he arrived at Colonial. “I know pretty much everyone who is not in the top 10 in the world is probably saying that, but that’s how I feel.”

He tied for 12th at Colonial, so he at least has a fighting chance. That moved him up four spots to No. 58. Scott is playing the Canadian Open this week, and the USGA will take the top 60 in the world after the Memorial the following week.

A good performance this week would go a long way. Otherwise, he heads off to 36-hole qualifying the Monday after the Canadian Open.

The last time Scott was out of the top 60, in 2018, he played the U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, and two-putted for par from 30 feet on the last hole to avoid a playoff. That kept his streak alive. Scott said back then his goal was to win the U.S. Open, not just qualify for it. He missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills.

Sergio Garcia has played every U.S. Open dating to 2000 at Pebble Beach, and that streak is in peril after he was the odd man out last week in a 7-for-6 playoff at the 36-hole qualifier in Dallas.

He was first alternate. The U.S. Open will rank the order of alternates from its 13 qualifying sites based on strength of field and how many spots each qualifier received. Spots already are set aside in case anyone — Scott, maybe? — cracks the top 60. So there’s still hope for Garcia.

That isn’t the case for Patrick Reed. He withdrew from the Dallas qualifier and has no other path into the U.S. Open. Reed has played in every major starting with the 2014 Masters.