ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Former Ryder Cup players Barry Lane and Paul Broadhurst, aged 52 and 46 respectively, both made it back into the British Open on Tuesday as a dozen players out of a field of 288 earned spots through four qualifiers played across England.
Broadhurst, whose round of 63 at St. Andrews in 1990 has still to be bettered in any major, won the 36-hole event at St. Annes Old with rounds of 70 and 67.
12 players out of a total of 288 earned spots in the British Open via four local final quaifying events in England on Tuesday.
Local Final Qualifying
1. Dale Whitnell
2. Warren Bennett
3. Steven Tiley
Southport & Ainsdale
1. Morten Orum Madsen
2. Ian Keenan
2. Elliot Saltman
St. Annes Old Links
1. Paul Broadhurst
2. Barry Lane
2. Rafael Echenique
1. Steven Alker
2. Scott Pinckney
2. Steven O'Hara
And with only three of the 72 players there going through to Royal Lytham in two weeks, Lane's second-round 70 enabled him to finish tied for second with Argentina's Rafa Echenique one behind on 6 under par.
Lytham will be the 682nd European Tour appearance of Lane's career, only 24 short of Sam Torrance's all-time record.
His Open debut came 25 years ago, and the last time he played was in 2006, while Broadhurst's debut was in 1988 -- he finished as low amateur -- and he last qualified three years ago.
Among those to miss out there were Chris Wood -- fifth in the 2008 Open as an amateur and then tied for third the following year at Turnberry -- and another ex-Ryder Cup player, Swede Jarmo Sandelin.
At Hillside, three English players came through -- former European Tour winner Warren Bennett, 2009 Walker Cup player Dale Whitnell and Kent's Steven Tiley.
Ex-Ryder Cup players Peter Baker and Mark James, Europe's Ryder Cup captain in 1999, failed along with James Conteh, son of former world boxing champion John Conteh.
Whitnell, from Tiptree in Essex, beat Bennett by one and Tiley by three on 9 under and was quickly tweeting, with expletive deleted: "Yes, yes, yes - the boy's gonna be playing in The Open."
Steve Alker won at West Lancashire on 7 under, but fellow New Zealander Michael Campbell, the U.S. Open champion seven years ago, shot level par -- five too many to be in a playoff with Scotland’s Steven O'Hara, Americans Scott Pinckney and Marty Jertson and St. Pierre amateur Richard Bentham. Jertson, a senior designer engineer for Ping Golf, earned a spot in the PGA Championship next month through his performance in the PGA Professional National Championship in California at the end of June.
Lane, who qualified with a chip-in eagle at the last, commented: "I can't wait to play in The Open again."
Broadhurst, who plays the French Open this week as a past champion, will be returning to the Open venue 24 years after winning the amateur Lytham Trophy.
"I'm going back to Tour school this autumn, but probably for the last time," he said. "All I'm trying to do is keep my game in shape for the Senior Tour."
O'Hara and Pinckney survived the playoff at West Lancashire, while at Southport and Ainsdale the winner was Denmark’s Morten Orum Madsen. But there was disappointment there for former European Tour star Nick Dougherty.
The Liverpudlian made only one halfway cut in losing his card last season and was still in with a good chance after an opening 70, but followed it with a 74.
A playoff was needed there as well. It involved Scotland's Chris Doak and Elliot Saltman -- the player given a three-month Tour ban at the start of last season following a ball-marking incident -- and also Hoylake professional Ian Keenan.
Saltman and Keenan took the final two qualifying spots, giving Saltman his second Open appearance in four years. He was at Turnberry with his brother Lloyd in 2009, but Lloyd missed out by five at Hillside.
O'Hara, a Walker Cup teammate of Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell in 2001, had to go to the fifth extra hole to secure an Open debut in his 11th attempt
"It's fantastic, especially to have had my dad Charlie as my caddie," he said. "It has made the day really special -- it brought back a lot of memories for me."