Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:52
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:24
PLANO, Texas (AP) PGA Tour rookie Harris English shot a course best and International Finals America qualifying record 60 and easily qualified for the British Open on Monday.
English shot a 63 in the afternoon at the par 70 Queens Course at Gleneagles Country Club, just outside of Dallas, for a 123 total, to snag one of the eight available spots for the Open from July 19-22 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.
Also qualifying for the Open was England's Greg Owen, who shot 66-61-127 and Canadian Stephen Ames who shot a morning 69, but rebounded with an afternoon 61 for a 130 total.
"I was ready to walk off when I looked at the numbers and I went, 'You know what? If after nine holes we don't have it four or five under, we're going home,' " Ames said.
"After nine holes, we were five under."
Ames birdied four straight holes -- Nos. 16, 17, 18 and 1. He started his round at No. 9 (groups started at either No. 10 or No. 1 for the qualifier) and it didn't take him long to get things going.
He had an eagle at No. 10, making a 25-foot putt from the fringe. Ames ended up with eight birdies, the eagle and a bogey.
He was excited about returning to the British Open, his favourite tournament. Ames has had his name on the front page of the leaderboard a few times at the British Open.
He's played in 10 British Opens and his best finish was a tie for fifth in 1997. His other top 10 was a tie for seventh in 2008. He hasn't played in the event since 2009. Ames last played in the Open at Royal Lytham in 1996. He finished tied for 55th.
"For me the highlight of playing professional golf is playing the British Open," said Ames, who lives in Calgary. "It's by far the best, I think. I don't think anything else comes close."
He’ll likely be the only Canadian at Royal Lytham, although there are still remote chances a Canadian could gain entry through other ways before the Open begins July 19. Canadians David Hearn, Adam Hadwin, Dustin Risdon and Roger Sloan also teed it up at Gleneagles on Monday but didn’t make the top eight.
The others to qualify Monday were Daniel Chopra of Sweden and Americans Bob Estes and James Driscoll.
There was a four-way playoff for the final three spots between Americans James Driscoll (66-65-131) and Bob Estes (66-65), Scotland's Russell Knox (65-66) and Sweden's Daniel Chopra (64-67).
Estes made birdie on the first playoff hole to qualify for his 11th British Open. Chopra and Driscoll made pars on the second playoff hole while Knox was eliminated.
Among those missing out was two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (65-71-136).
Files from the Canadian Press were used in this report.
By Inside Golf Editors
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