Former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell and former Ryder Cup player Jarmo Sandelin missed out on qualifying for the British Open on Tuesday. A total of 288 players were vying for a mere 12 spots in four 36-hole Local Final Qualifying tournaments staged at courses surrounding Royal St. George’s, the host venue for the Open in two weeks.
Campbell failed to finish in the top three at Prince's after shooting rounds of 68 and 72 to finish 4-under 140. Sandelin missed out by two shots at Rye.
2011 BRITISH OPEN
International Final Qualifying (IFQ) events are held on five continents to give more players the chance to gain direct entry into golf's oldest championship.
Six players, including English amateurs Craig Hinton and Tom Lewis, qualified Tuesday. Six more will advance when qualifying is completed on Wednesday after weather problems forced play to halt early.
"This is a very humbling experience for me," said Campbell, who pushed Tiger Woods into second place at Pinehurst in 2005 to become New Zealand's first major champion since Bob Charles 42 years earlier.
"Having won a major and enjoying the exemptions that go with it for the past few years, well there's a danger of taking all that for granted,” added Campbell, who is onw down at 728th in the world. "But this experience certainly focuses your attention and gets your mind back on the job."
He now heads to Paris for the Alstom French Open starting on Thursday, knowing he can still qualify for the British Open. He would have to be the leading player not already eligible among the top five at the French Open and the upcoming Scottish Open.
Lake District professional Simon Edwards won at Prince's on 7 under and also through were Thomas Shadbolt and Francis McGuirk on 5 under. McGuirk was playing on his home course.
At Rye, England amateur international Tom Lewis, from Sir Nick Faldo's club Welwyn Garden City, had brilliant rounds of 63 and 65 to win by three on 8 under par over Oxford professional Adam Wootton.
Another amateur to win was Oxfordshire's Hinton at Royal Cinque Ports. He shot 5 under, leaving four players on 4 under to play off. They included former Rookie of the Year Scott Henderson.
Prince's was the only course not to spill into a second day. There are playoffs to come at Royal Cinque Ports and Rye, while Littlestone still has over half the field to finish the second round.
England's ex-Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst, whose 63 at St. Andrews in 1990 still stands as the joint best round ever in a major, missed out by three at Cinque Ports.