Home favourites Rod Pampling, Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers have qualified for The Open, courtesy of their final rounds of the Emirates Australian Open.
Pampling finished on a seven-under-par total of 277 in second place, six shots behind the winner America’s Jordan Spieth, to qualify for the 144th Open at St Andrews in July. He was joined by Rumford and Chalmers, who finished on six-under-par and five-under-par respectively.
The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the Open Qualifying Series and Pampling, Rumford and Chalmers played steady golf in blustery afternoon conditions at the Australian Golf Club to secure the three qualifying places available.
Pampling recovered from three dropped shots in his first four holes and carded five birdies on the back nine for a three-under-par round of 68. The 45-year-old Queenslander has made seven appearances in The Open with his best finish being tied 27th at Royal Troon in 2004 and again at Carnoustie in 2007. He has won twice on the PGA TOUR, including the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational.
“I was really happy with the back nine to shoot five-under coming in was nice,” said Pampling. “It’s fantastic to qualify. I think it’s an awesome venue and obviously it’s the Home of Golf. I have been there a few times so I am really looking forward to having that experience and getting out there. I love links and I am definitely looking forward to it.”
Rumford got his round going with three consecutive birdies from the fifth hole and, despite dropping shots on the 8th, 11th and 15th holes, the 37-year-old birdied the last to finish with a one-under-par round of 70. The five-time winner on the European Tour, who hails from Perth, finished tied 16th in The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and will make his fifth appearance next year.
“It’s been a tremendous week and this is real positive to take out of the week,” said Rumford. “It’s of huge significance that it’s at St Andrews. I think it’s every five years on the rotation it goes back to St Andrews so I’m really looking forward to getting back there. I know St Andrews well through the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship but obviously an Open there is a little bit different.”
Back to back birdies on the 13th and 14th got Chalmers’ round back on track and he finished with a level par round of 71. The 41-year-old will make his third appearance at The Open. His best finish was tied 45th at Royal Lytham in 2012. The two-time Australian Open champion is also a former winner of the Australian PGA Championship.
“I’m really excited for me and my family,” Chalmers said. “I will take everybody over to go to St Andrews. I’m really proud of myself and very pleased to earn this spot in The Open.”
The Open Qualifying Series continues at the Thailand Golf Championship from 11-14 December 2014.
The 144th Open will be played at St Andrews from 12-19 July 2015.
The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) will offer the following qualification places in The Open:
|Open Qualifying Series||Event||No of places||Detail|
|OQS-Australia||The Emirates Australian Open||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-Thailand||The Thailand Golf Championship||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-South Africa||The Joburg Open||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-Japan||The Mizuno Open||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-Ireland||The Irish Open hosted by The Rory Foundation||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-France||Alstom Open de France||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-Scotland||Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-USA||Travelers Championship||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-USA||The Greenbrier Classic||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-USA||John Deere Classic||1*||One place to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties|
|OQS-Final Qualifying||Gailes Links
Royal Cinque Ports
|12||Three places available at each event|
*There is one place in the John Deere Classic due to the logistics of qualifiers travelling to play in The Open at short notice.
NB: Any player who has qualified through The Open Qualifying Series is deemed an exempt player. In the event that that player subsequently fulfils other exemption categories those places in the starting field will be subject to Section F of The Open Championship Entry Form.