Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal make final Open bids
RYDER Cup captains past and present Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal are part of a 96-strong field at Sunningdale today battling for 10 places in next month’s Open Championship.
The 36-hole event is the last of five international qualifying tournaments.
Montgomerie and Olazabal are also two of eight Ryder Cup players taking part. Ross Fisher, Paul McGinley, David Howell, Oliver Wilson, Thomas Levet and Niclas Fasth are the others.
Double Masters champion Olazabal is not the only major champion in action, American Rich Beem, who pipped Tiger Woods to the 2002 USPGA title, is trying to qualify via this route as well. Fasth was runner-up to David Duval the last time the Open was at Lytham 11 years ago in a week when Montgomerie led after both 18 and 36 holes, but then fell back to joint 13th. The 49-year-old has never won a major and is now older than any major champion in history.
Also at Sunningdale is Tom Lewis, whose opening 65 at Sandwich last July gave him a share of the lead and was the lowest round ever by an amateur in the championship.
The field also includes Stephen Gallacher, Scott Jamieson, Peter Whiteford, David Drysdale, Craig Lee, Alastair Forsyth and Marc Warren, who is aiming to repeat his success in the US Open equivalent at Walton Heath last month.
Today also sees regional qualifying taking place around the country, the 14 venues for that including Bruntsfield Links and Goswick. The line-up at the Edinburgh course includes Tartan Tour No 1 Stephen Gray, former European Tour rookie of the year Scott Henderson and David Law, winner of both the Scottish Amateur and Northern Open in the space of a few weeks last year.
While Law is now in the paid ranks, the hopefuls include a sizeable amateur contingent that includes James White, last year’s Scottish Order of Merit winner, and former Walker Cup player Graham Gordon.
Among the Scots heading just over the Border to Goswick is Baberton’s Paul Ferrier, who will be aiming to re-produce the form that saw him reach the semi-finals in last week’s Amateur Championship at Royal Troon.
Michael Stewart, a member of the 2011 winning Walker Cup team at Royal Aberdeen, is also trying his luck at the Berwick-upon-Tweed course, as is Danny Kay, who lost to Law in the Scottish Amateur final at Western Gailes.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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