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Mathew Goggin is pleased to be headed back to the event he calls his favorite. (Photo: AP)
Mathew Goggin is pleased to be headed back to the event he calls his favorite. (Photo: AP)

Strong finishes propel Goggin and Wall into the Open

Mathew Goggin and Anthony Wall didn't win on Sunday, but their finishes in Illinois and Ireland earned them trips to Liverpool.

LEMONT, Ill. (AP) -- Mathew Goggin got a small consolation prize Sunday at the Cialis Western Open, earning a spot in the field at Royal Liverpool in two weeks as the highest finisher not already eligible for the Open Championship.

"I've played it a couple times before, and it's by far my favorite golf tournament to play in, so I'm really excited to be able to go there," Goggin said.

Also securing a spot was Anthony Wall of England, whose tie for second in the Smurfit Kappa European Open in Straffan, Ireland, on Sunday made him the highest finisher in that event not already eligible. Wall drained a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole to pull into the tie with Jose Manuel Lara of Spain, and got the spot because his final-round score was lower than Lara's.

The Royal & Ancient offers five spots to PGA Tour players in the weeks before the Open Championship -- two from a special money list from six tournaments (The Players Championship and five events through the Western Open), and the highest finisher among the top 10 not already eligible from the Buick Championship at Hartford, the Western Open and the John Deere Classic.

Hartford winner J.J. Henry and Billy Andrade earned the two spots from the special money list, while Hunter Mahan was the top finisher not already eligible from Hartford.

Goggin closed with a 69 at Cog Hill and tied for second with Tiger Woods, two shots behind Trevor Immelman, who already qualified for the Open Championship by being in the top 50 in the world ranking.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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