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Scotland closest of MENA Tour stars in final Open qualifying but no fairytale return to Carnoustie

Zane Scotland (file picture)

By Kent Gray
The dream of a third Open Championship appearance remains just that for Zane Scotland while the major hopes of two MENA Tour peers have also been dashed in final qualifying.

Scotland had hoped to make a return to Carnoustie for the 147th Open Championship via Tuesday’s final qualifying – 19 years after he becoming the youngest English player to qualify for the oldest major. But rounds of 70-72 at St Annes Old Links, while tidy scoring, left the 35-year-old on the outside looking in on the year’s final big. Scotland finished -2, 10 shots behind winner James Robinson and eight shots behind the two other players who qualified from the Lancashire qualifier, Marcus Armitage and Jack Green.

Elsewhere, Yas Links-attached Luke Joy finished well off the pace at Prince’s in Sandwich, Kent, scores of 79-77 seeing him finish +12 in a shared of 44th position, 16 shots behind winner Tom Lewis, the Englishman who hails from Nick Faldo’s old Welwyn City Garden G.C.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen punched his ticket to Carnostie for the July 19-22 Open at Prince’s but two members of Scotland’s coaching academy and MENA Tour players in waiting – Jack Yule (+1, T-10) and Louis Hirst (+11, T41) – suffered similar disappointment to Joy.

Related: Goosen qualifies for Open the hard way

Englishman Stuart Archibald, another MENA Tour regular, retired from the Notts (Hollinwell) qualifier won by countryman Ashton Turner after signing for an opening 81.

Former English amateur international Turner won with a -6 aggregate, three strokes ahead of 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links champion Oliver Wilson who was one of seven Englishmen to advance on a memorable day capped by England exorcising their penalty shootout demons in advancing to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup.

What a day, indeed. Even Scotland, a 10-time MENA Tour winner and the circuit’s first life member, paid tribute to Wilson afterwards.



Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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