Field full of PGA Tour regulars set for British Open qualifier in Texas

Sean O'Hair
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Sean O'Hair is one of several players who have won on the PGA Tour in the past year and are playing in the British Open qualifier in the Dallas area this week.
By news services

Series: European Tour

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012 | 7:47 p.m.

PLANO, Texas -– A field of 78 players will be hoping to earn one of eight places available at this year’s British Open Championship on Monday and Tuesday when International Final Qualifying (IFQ) returns to the Gleneagles Country Club.

The competitors will play 36 holes of stroke play in the two-day event.

Among the players taking on the 6,871-yard, par-70 Queens Course at Gleneagles are many PGA Tour regulars, including Harrison Frazar, George McNeill, Scott Piercy and Sean O’Hair, who all have PGA Tour victories to their names in the past year.

Robert Garrigus, Ryan Moore, Jeff Overton and Ryan Palmer all currently sit well within the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), and will be hoping for a further taste of the British Open, having all played last year at Royal St George’s.

Spencer Levin, Jerry Kelly, Bob Estes and Englishman Brian Davis will hope to replicate last year’s IFQ successes, where all maneuvered a tricky field to earn their spots at Sandwich.  Davis’ 6-under-par opening round topped the field at last year’s weather-shortened IFQ, and he is sure to be one of the top contenders this time around as he looks to make his ninth Open appearance.

More than half of this year’s field have previous Open experience, while Rory Sabbatini, Stuart Appleby, Chris Di Marco and Greg Owen have fond memories of Royal Lytham, having all made the cut back in 2001 -- Owen especially, as he made a double eagle-2 at the par-5 11th on his way to finishing in the top 25.

On-form PGA Tour stars Jhonattan Vegas, Charlie Wi, John Rollins, Kevin Stadler and David Mathis will also be ones to watch, and they will be joined by past Ryder Cup players J.B. Holmes and Henrik Stenson, Colombia’s Camillo Villegas and American Walker Cup representative Harris English, who has already made several impressive finishes in his rookie season on tour.

Gleneagles Country Club, a venue chosen to tie into the PGA Tour’s Texas swing, lies just 20 miles from the TPC Four Seasons Resort, where the HP Byron Nelson Championship concluded on Sunday. The 141st British Open will be played July 19-22 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

International Final Qualifying (IFQ) events for the British Open were introduced in 2004 and are held on five continents to give more players from around the world the chance to gain direct entry into golf's oldest championship. Qualifiers already have been held in Australia, Africa and Asia, and one more will be held June 25 at Sunningdale, England.