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After his first round, Fredrik Andersson Hed was carted out to the fourth hole to play it again with the pin in a new place. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
After his first round, Fredrik Andersson Hed was carted out to the fourth hole to play it again with the pin in a new place. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

16 earn spots in a wild and wacky European qualifier 

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Graeme McDowell and Miguel Angel Jimenez were among those securing their spots at Carnoustie on Monday. The 36-hole shootout was briefly halted so a pin placement could be changed, causing a huge ruckus among the players.

SUNNINGDALE, England (PA) -- Nick Dougherty breathed a sigh of relief and awarded himself a two-week layoff after earning a place in the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Despite finishing seventh at last month's U.S. Open, the 25-year-old from Liverpool was still in danger of missing out on golf's next major.

But rounds of 64 and 69 in the 36-hole European final qualifier at Sunningdale -- an event full of controversy and even an official apology earlier in the day -- sent Dougherty sailing through on 7 under par, as 16 players nailed down their spots in the Open field.

"I'd already pulled out of this week's European Open and now I'm not going to play at Loch Lomond [the Barclays Scottish Open] next week, either," he said. "I'm flat out and found it very hard to keep my head. It's time to take a break."

With only 16 of the 120-strong field going through, Dougherty admitted he was starting to panic when he dropped shots during an afternoon and evening of torrential downpours, but he had enough in hand from his opening round.

He did then admit he would have "a proper whinge" about some of the pin placings if he had crashed out. But plenty of others did.

Like Dougherty, Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell and Sweden's Peter Hanson also survived, just as they had in the U.S. Open qualifier at Walton Heath. McDowell was the medalist on Monday with his 67-64 aggregate of 9 under.

But the Swede at the center of attention Monday was Fredrik Andersson Hed, who waited until almost 8:00 p.m. local time before discovering that farcical scenes out on the course just after 7:00 a.m. had not cost him a Carnoustie spot.

The qualifier was halted soon after it had begun so that the pin position of the "unplayable" 156-yard fourth hole could be changed, a development that brought back memories of the mayhem at the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

Before the stoppage, Ricardo Gonzalez five-putted, Edoardo Molinari and Alexander Noren four-putted and Brett Rumford three-putted after hitting his tee shot to the sloping green to two feet. His second putt was from 35 feet.

It left one golfer, not wanting to be named, saying of the organizing Royal and Ancient Club: "They couldn't run a bath."

Andersson Hed was also among those affected, but he was happy to have parred it and then livid when the eight players were told to play the hole again at the completion of their first rounds.

On his return, the 35-year-old four-putted for a double-bogey 5, turning his 66 into a 68. But after repeating that 68 in his afternoon round, he then waited and eventually discovered he was fine.

"I think the European Tour should do the pins," he said. "Every time I've played in an event run by the R&A, there have been one or two that were barely playable.

"I wouldn't have played the fourth again given the chance, but we were told we had to," he added. "I didn't speak to the championship chairman, but I spoke to a few others and hopefully he got the message!"

That chairman was Martin Kippax and he accepted total blame for the original pin placing.

"I chose the pin positions because of the weather we've had and the forecast we had for today. The chance of thunderstorms meant that I chose a place where we would hopefully be able to continue play," he said. "I tried to be sensible about it, but there are limited options on the fourth. The safest place is in a hollow and absolutely the place where there would be ponding, so instead I chose a place that was within a foot of where it was last year.

"I was then made aware by a referee on the course that we had a potential problem," he explained. "I went out and saw that it was in an unplayable position, so after consulting with various people, certainly the European Tour, I suspended play and moved the pin position. I admit it was a mistake and the responsibility lies on me and me only."

Richard Bland had hit his first tee shot to 18 inches and holed for a birdie 2. The second time round he parred, but as he finished down on 4 over it did not have the same implications as it did for Andersson Hed.

At the U.S. Open three years ago, it was the short eighth hole in the final round that caused controversy, with Kevin Stadler hitting a two-foot putt into a bunker and fellow American Jerry Kelly commenting: "When are the USGA (United States Golf Association) going to grow a head?"

There was no replaying of the hole that day. Play was held up for the green to be watered, but that did not help those who had already had double bogeys and triple bogeys -- and fury erupted afterward.

Among those who failed to make it through at Sunningdale on Monday were last year's European Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam -- he was happy to be playing again as he battles post-viral fatigue syndrome -- fellow Welshman Phillip Price and 18-year-old Oliver Fisher.

The youngster's namesake Ross Fisher will be playing in his first major, however, and hoping to hit the headlines again eight weeks after leading the BMW PGA Championship right here at his home club of Wentworth and then crashing to an 84.

Dougherty ended up tied for second with Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez, two behind McDowell on Monday.

Scot Alastair Forsyth also made it after missing out on the U.S. Open by one, while Woosnam's Ryder Cup Assistant Captain Peter Baker -- also his former Ryder Cup partner -- qualified on the limit of 4 under, like Andersson Hed.

The pin fiasco was not the only issue Kippax had to deal with. He was also questioned about the rule under which players cannot switch to final qualifying next week if they could not make it to Sunningdale for whatever reason.

Jean Van de Velde's manager had asked if that was possible because of the Frenchman's illness, and Scot Steven O'Hara did not play after being called into the field on Sunday morning and then being unable to catch a flight because of the Glasgow Airport terrorism incident.

There is still one Open spot available at each of the European and Scottish Opens.

PlayerScore
Graeme McDowell67 64 131 -9
Peter Hanson68 65 133 -7
Miguel Angel Jimenez66 67 133 -7
Nick Dougherty64 69 133 -7
Ross Fisher70 64 134 -6
Alastair Forsyth65 70 135 -5
Gregory Bourdy67 68 135 -5
Oliver Wilson68 67 135 -5
Benn Barham67 68 135 -5
Fredrik Andersson Hed68 68 136 -4
Mattias Eliasson70 66 136 -4
Francesco Molinari70 66 136 -4
David Frost70 66 136 -4
Mark Foster66 70 136 -4
Jose-Filipe Lima64 72 136 -4
Peter Baker68 68 136 -4
Failed to Qualify:
Carlos Del Moral69 68 137 -3
Marcus Higley69 68 137 -3
Soren Kjeldsen69 68 137 -3
Steven Jeppesen67 70 137 -3
Kyron Sullivan68 69 137 -3
Jean-Francois Lucquin66 72 138 -2
Garry Houston69 69 138 -2
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano65 73 138 -2
Marc Warren69 69 138 -2
Alejandro Canizares66 72 138 -2
Matthew Millar70 69 139 -1
Alexandre Rocha69 71 140 E
Kenneth Ferrie70 70 140 E
Robert Coles67 73 140 E
Alvaro Velasco70 70 140 E
Ian Woosnam69 71 140 E
Jarmo Sandelin71 69 140 E
Peter Gustafsson71 69 140 E
Richard Green70 70 140 E
Steve Webster72 68 140 E
Stephen Gallacher70 70 140 E
Phillip Archer71 69 140 E
Ricardo Gonzalez67 74 141 +1
David Bransdon72 69 141 +1
Simon Hurd66 75 141 +1
Gareth Davies71 70 141 +1
Liam Bond71 70 141 +1
Peter O?Malley70 71 141 +1
Oliver Fisher71 70 141 +1
Marcus Fraser70 71 141 +1
Jyoti Randhawa71 70 141 +1
Mads Vibe-Mastrup72 70 142 +2
Michael Jonzon69 73 142 +2
Sam Little66 76 142 +2
Wade Ormsby71 71 142 +2
Mikko Ilonen70 72 142 +2
Lee James72 70 142 +2
Christian Cevaer71 71 142 +2
Patrik Sjoland73 69 142 +2
David Griffiths69 73 142 +2
David Dixon67 75 142 +2
Ariel Canete73 69 142 +2
Daniel Denison69 73 142 +2
Pelle Edberg72 70 142 +2
Lee Slattery71 72 143 +3
Andrew Coltart69 74 143 +3
Simon Nash68 75 143 +3
Sam Walker68 75 143 +3
Johan Axgren71 72 143 +3
Maarten Lafeber70 73 143 +3
Robert Rock67 76 143 +3
Tom Whitehouse69 74 143 +3
Richard Bland73 71 144 +4
Alexander Noren72 72 144 +4
Simon Wakefield74 70 144 +4
Peter Hedblom70 74 144 +4
Ross McGowan69 75 144 +4
Edoardo Molinari72 73 145 +5
Andrew Tampion72 73 145 +5
Cesar Monasterio72 73 145 +5
Jamie Spence71 74 145 +5
Rafael Cabrera Bello73 72 145 +5
Rafael Echenique67 78 145 +5
Simon Dyson71 74 145 +5
Sion Bebb72 74 146 +6
Timothy Milford71 75 146 +6
David Carter78 68 146 +6
Santiago Luna71 75 146 +6
Taichi Teshima72 74 146 +6
Felipe Aguilar73 73 146 +6
Edward Rush72 74 146 +6
Hernan Rey75 71 146 +6
Brett Rumford78 69 147 +7
James Heath70 77 147 +7
Joakim Backstrom72 75 147 +7
Adrien Mork74 73 147 +7
Alessandro Tadini75 72 147 +7
Darren Fichardt69 78 147 +7
Gareth Wright71 76 147 +7
Barry Lane77 71 148 +8
Euan Little75 73 148 +8
Phillip Price72 76 148 +8
Richard Finch71 77 148 +8
Christian Nilsson69 79 148 +8
Chris Gane72 77 149 +9
Gary Emerson76 73 149 +9
James Kingston77 73 150 +10
Pedro Linhart73 77 150 +10
Chris Rodgers77 75 152 +12
Daniel De Leon81 71 152 +12
Mark Pilkington73 80 153 +13
Michiel Bothma80 73 153 +13
Jonathan Lomas76 78 154 +14
Jim Payne74 80 154 +14
Warren Bladon76 80 156 +16
Marco Ruiz74 82 156 +16
Peter Senior76 NR NR
David Drysdale73 NR NR
James Hepworth74 NR NR
Emanuele Canonica71 NR NR
Carlos Rodiles75 NR NR
Louis Oosthuizen72 NR NR
Simon Khan73 NR NR
James Donaldson75 NR NR

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