Ten Irish among 288 in Final Qualifying chasing just 12 Open tee times

Fatiha Betscher

Ronan Mullarney (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Ten Irish golfers, including two amateurs, will be teeing-up on Tuesday across four courses in England looking to secure one of just three places available at each course into next month’s 149th Open Championship at Royal George’s.

The four venues include Prince’s, the Hollinwell course at Notts, West Lancashire and St. Annes Old Links.

The final make-up, however, of Final Qualifying was not known till earlier today (Monday) due to the revised format where all four courses were used last Sunday and Sunday for Regional Qualifying and now again hosting Final Qualifying. This is because the measures required by the UK government guidance in relation to staging events and international travel are consistent between venues.

However, weather delays and darkness at three venues meant regional qualifying not wrapping-up till today (Monday) with the R&A reporting that due to darkness at St. Annes Old Links, it saw three players had to return early today to complete their rounds.

The 10 Irish teeing-up in tomorrow’s Final Qualifying include:

  • Notts (Holinwell course).                  Tee times

Tim Rice (Limerick)                                6.30am & 12 noon

Tyler Hogarty (Unattached)                    9.30am & 3pm

Brendan McCarroll (West Cliffs)              10.15am & 3.45pm

The ‘name’ player at this venue is England’s Robert Rock, a double European Tour winner, and fondly remembered in Ireland as the player who lost a play-off to then amteur Shane Lowry for the 2009 Irish Open title.

  • West Lancashire

Dermot McElroy (Ballymena)                  7.20am & 1.05pm

Hugh Foley (Royal Dublin)                      7.30am & 1.15pm

Robert Galligan (am) (Elm Park)             8.15am & 2pm

Richard Knightly (am) (Royal Dublin)    8.25am & 2.10pm

Ronan Mullarney (Galway)                      8.45am & 2.30pm

The ‘name’ player at West Lancashire being two-time European Tour winner, Lee Slattery who has contested two prior Open’s and the last in 2012. Also, teeing-up in England’s Matthew Nixon and a former European Tour competitor.

  • Prince’s

Noel Quinn (Chartridge Park)                   7.20am & 1.05pm

Five-time European Tour Jarmo Sandelin, and now aged 43, is the standout entrant at Prince’s with the Swede having contested three Open Championships and made the cut in all three, including his last Open in 2000 at St. Andrews.  He also was a member of the Mark James  hopelessly led 1999 European Ryder Cup side. Also, at Prince’s is 28-year-old Belgium Thomas Detry who contested both this year’s PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

  • St. Annes Old Links

Luke Donnelly (Kilkenny/PGA Catalunya) 7.50am & 1.35pm

Former Irish Open winner (2008) Richard Finch, who slipped and toppled into the River Maigue in playing his second shot down the last at Adare Manor, is also at St. Annes Links along with Spain’s and seven-time European Tour winning Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

The R&A also advised that due to existing international travel measures and the requirement to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission, golfers who have entered Final Qualifying in England on 29 June are now being offered alternative opportunities to earn places into the 149th Open if they are also intending to play in either the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 1st to 4th).

It means the three leading non-exempt golfers qualifying at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will go onto the tee-up in The Open. Also, in an historic Challenge Tour first and due also to Covid-19 restrictions, the leading non-exempt golfer qualifying at the Kaskada Golf Challenge (July 1st to 4th) and Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge (July 8th to 11th) will earn spots into The Open.

And there is Royal St. George’s tee times on offer also at next week’s Scottish Open.

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