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Final Qualifying: Justin Rose leads the way as 16 earn Open spots – Golf News

By admin Jul3,2024

Justin Rose and English amateur Dominic Clemons were the pick of the qualifiers as 16 players earned their place in The 152nd Open at Royal Troon through Final Qualifying.

Four places in The Open were available each venue with a starting field of 288 competing at 36-hole events held at Burnham & Berrow, Dundonald, Royal Cinque Ports and West Lancashire.

Burnham & Berrow

Justin Rose and Amateur Championship runner-up Dominic Clemons finished tied for first place on eight-under-par to secure the first two qualifying spots at Burnham & Berrow.

The former US Open champion carded a 65 in the opening round, including four birdies in a row from the turn, before following up with a three-under 68 in the afternoon. Clemons, who just missed out on a place at Royal Troon after losing in the final of The Amateur at Ballyliffin bounced back at the first opportunity with rounds of 68 and 65 to secure his debut in the championship.

The final two qualifying places were secured by Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and Sweden’s Charlie Lindh after they prevailed in a three-way play-off with Aniban Lahiri. The trio had finished level on five-under-par and Lahiri missed out after bogeying the first play-off hole.

Rose said: “The Open’s been a bit of a fairytale and love story for me since I was 14 and I qualified at Scotscraig. Obviously there was winning the Silver Medal at Royal Birkdale a couple of years later, so The Open has always been super special. Sometimes you take it for granted – you’re exempt, you turn up and play for many years, but as you get older, things get a little harder so in some ways it’s good to have to qualify because it makes you appreciate The Open a little more and how special it is. Coming back to Burnham & Berrow was also special – first time back here since 1997. I was grateful to be back here and walk down memory lane.”

Dundonald Links

England’s Sam Hutsby led the qualifiers at Dundonald in Scotland. The 35-year-old eagled the 5th hole in his afternoon round on his way to an eight-under-par total to secure his place in The Open for the first time.

Angel Hidalgo and Irish Walker Cup player Liam Nolan were tied on five-under-par and also qualified for debut appearances at Royal Troon. The Spanish DP World Tour player clinched his place in spectacular fashion, holing his wedge shot from 120 yards for an eagle at the last.

The final place was resolved after a three-player play-off between local favourite Jack McDonald, Daniel Young and Tim Widing. McDonald, from nearby Kilmarnock (Barassie), holed a 25ft birdie putt to win. McDonald follows in his grandfather Gordon Cosh’s footsteps after he played in The Open in 1977.

Hutsby said: “I’m a bit lost for words at the moment. I’ve missed out by a shot twice. It has always been a childhood dream to play in a major. To be a British player playing in your home Championship, I couldn’t have dreamt of that. I was working in a golf shop two years ago but I’ve put an unbelievable amount of hard work in and hopefully this is reward for the sacrifices I’ve made.”

Hidalgo commented: “I’m still shaking. The second shot was perfect distance. It was the first time all day I had a full club and at that type of moment. With nerves I prefer to have a full club. Obviously I didn’t see the ball go in but to be honest I don’t care. I just jumped and cried with my caddie and we deserve it. We fight a lot. All this year we’ve not really had luck so if finally I take the place in The Open it would be a really good gift.”

Royal Cinque Ports

England’s Matthew Southgate claimed the first qualifying place at Royal Cinque Ports with rounds of 61 and 67 for a six-under-par total of 138. This is the fifth time he has earned his way into The Open via Final Qualifying.

Australian Elvis Smylie and Spanish amateur Jaime Montojo will make their major championship debuts after finishing in a tie for second on three-under-par. The final qualifying place went to another Spanish amateur, Luis Masaveu, who came through a three-man playoff alongside Branden Grace and Jamie Rutherford after the trio finished tied on two-under. Masaveu won with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

Other notable players who missed out on qualifying included 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell, DP World Tour player Thomas Detry and seven-time Asian Tour winner Jazz Janewattananond.

Southgate, who finished finished sixth in The Open in 2017, said:  “I don’t want to sound brash or arrogant, but I have such a big relationship with The Open. I’ve already lost the plot crying today. I have such a heavy connection to The Open because of my dad. He took me to every Open Championship from 1999 until I played my first Open in 2014. Every time I turn up for Final Qualifying I know I’ve got that in my armoury. I’m not on the first tee messing around – I’m here to get a spot because it means everything to me.”

West Lancashire

English amateur Matthew Dodd-Berry will tee it up in The Open for the first time after he and Sam Horsfield led the qualifiers at West Lancashire on six-under-par.

The Royal Liverpool member was followed by a large home support and a birdie at the last generated the biggest cheer of the day as he booked his place at Royal Troon to the delight of family and friends.

They will be joined by Daniel Brown and Misahiro Kawawura, who finished tied for third place one shot back on five-under.

Two-time Open runner-up Sergio Garcia missed out on qualifying at the Lancashire links for the second year-in-a-row after falling short and finishing on the three-under mark alongside Carlos Ortiz and Mexican amateur Omar Morales.

Dodd-Berry said: “It’s the greatest moment of my career and it’s everything that I’ve been working towards, even though I should have probably done it a year earlier and played at Royal Liverpool. I’m really excited to get to Troon. The support today from everyone was incredible, it’s like a little corner of the Wirral here. They’ve always been there for me, asking me how I’m getting on and cheering for me. My dad has been a huge influence on my life and has helped to develop in my game both on and off the course, so it’s great that he was here to see it.”

Horsfield, who is playing on the LIV Golf League, added: “I had zero expectations coming into today, so obviously it’s a huge step to qualify and play a major for the first time in a couple of years. I always say to everyone that The Open is my favourite major. I’d never had that feeling before, the one when they call your name on the first tee – that was the coolest experience. I’m really looking forward to getting back and hopefully continuing to play well. These are the stages you want to play on.”

Visit TheOpen.com for full results from all four Final Qualifying venues. 

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