Calum Hill pipped for Open spot by Oliver Wilson's last-hole birdie in British Masters
Hill looked set to join Kiwi Daniel Hillier and American Gunner Wiebe in claiming berths up for grabs in the season’s final major through the DP World Tour event being part of The Open Qualifying Series.
However, former Dunhill Links champion Oliver Wilson birdied the last to finish one shot ahead of Hill, who would have been heading to Merseyside by virtue of a better world ranking if they’d finished on the same score.
The Scot still has two more chances to tee up an Open debut, with the same number of spots on offer in both the Made in Himmerland in Denmark and the Genesis Scottish Open.
“I didn’t hit it absolutely perfect off the tee, but I still played great,” said Hill of his closing 69 at the Ryder Cup venue. “I hit it really good on the back nine. My heart got going and I managed it really well.”
The 28-year-old was still in with a chance of landing a second tour win when he pushed his approach at the last and was unable to get up and down to save par.
“Played the correct shot at the last, just didn’t execute it well,” he admitted. “I needed to fade a 5-iron in and blocked it. It was a fast chip and I’ve really struggled around the greens this week as you get a wide variety of lies and a variety in terms of the reaction to the club.”
Hill eagled the iconic tenth hole in his closing effort. “It was a good one and the noise after it went in was a bit wild. It was nice to bounce back after taking a blooming bogey at nine," he said.
After signing for his card, he then spent a fair bit of time signing autographs and even obliged when he was asked to sign someone's forehead. "That is a first," he said, laughing.
"The support has been great. I’ve had people following me around all week, so just to be able to sign a few signatures and give people what they are looking for isn’t too much trouble. It’s brilliant, in fact.”
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