- Associated Press - Sunday, May 20, 2012

CASARES, SPAIN (AP) - Rafael Cabrera-Bello’s consolation prize following his semifinal exit at the World Match Play Championship is a spot at next month’s U.S. Open.

The 61st-ranked Spaniard missed out on a place in the final of one of his home tournaments when he was beaten by 2 holes by Graeme McDowell on Sunday.

However, the ranking points earned from his week at the Finca Cortesin course will lift him above Italian player Matteo Manassero and into the top 60 when the new rankings are released on Monday, securing a place at the year’s second major.

It will be Cabrera-Bello’s second appearance at the U.S. Open _ he finished tied for 47th in 2010 at Pebble Beach _ but he will be returning to the United States with a bigger reputation.

He won the Dubai Desert Classic in February and has played into contention to make Europe’s Ryder Cup team for September’s match against the U.S. in Medinah, near Chicago.

“I’m proud of myself, it’s been a good week,” said the 27-year-old Cabrera-Bello, whose first and only other tournament victory came at the Austrian Open in 2009.

“Overall I played really well and I’m very excited about the tournaments coming up. It’ll great to be at the U.S. Open again.”

This year’s U.S. Open will be at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on June 14-17.