The possibility of being denied re-entry into the US has forced Cam Davis to reject a late invitation to contest next week’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s.
Ten Australians are already exempt to contest the year’s final major championship and when American Kevin Na made the decision to withdraw on Thursday, Davis was next in line by virtue of his world rankings climb following his Rocket Mortgage Classic victory.
Tied for 39th in his only appearance at The Open in 2018, Davis cited travel difficulties for his decision to stay at home which opened the door for Germany’s two-time major champion Martin Kaymer to secure his place in the field.
After firing a 4-under 67 to be tied for 12th following the opening round of the PGA TOUR’s John Deere Classic, Davis clarified the reason as to why he decided not to travel to the UK next week.
“I got married last year in September and decided to start the green card process to make travelling in and out of the country so much easier,” said Davis, who rose from No.134 to No.67 after his breakthrough win at Detroit Golf Club last week.
“Unfortunately for six months I’m not going to be able to leave the States while that’s getting processed. That means I’m not able to go next week but I’m looking forward to seeing my family and celebrating back in Seattle next week and recharging a little bit.
“This week is already a bit of a grind to get through. I’m pretty tired. It’ll be nice to relax.”
Green card applicants are able to leave the US while their application is being processed but those who understand the legal process advise against it.
Applicants first need to obtain a Permanent Resident Card and then an Advance Parole travel document prior to leaving but even they provide no guarantees that the person will be permitted to re-enter.
“Advance Parole, or a re-entry permit, does not actually guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter the US,” says David Nachman, a US immigration specialist and Managing Attorney at Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak Law Group.
“While the odds may be low that you would be denied re-entry, the sheer fact that it is a possibility should compel you to use caution and be extremely selective about your international travel options.”
After celebrating late on Sunday night with burgers and milkshakes with caddie Andrew Tschudin at a Five Guys restaurant in Detroit, Davis was brought back to reality as he tried to make his way to Illinois.
“Monday was a bit of a tough travel day,” explained Davis, who caught a re-run of the Rocket Mortgage Classic final round in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“My flight got cancelled, so I had to drive on over, so that day didn’t exactly go as smoothly as I would have liked. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more rest.
“I just tried to take it really easy, just nine holes Tuesday, nine holes yesterday in the pro-am, just lots of rest. By the time I got to today, for most of the round, I started to feel back to normal.
“I’ve got a late tee time tomorrow, got plenty of time to relax. Hopefully by the time I get to tomorrow I’ll be back to 100 per cent and ready to go again.”
Rhein Gibson had six birdies and four bogeys in his opening round of 2-under 69 which was matched by Greg Chalmers, Cameron Percy (70), Aaron Baddeley (72) and John Senden (74) in need of a low round on day two to make the cut.