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Player to try and qualify for Open

Gary Player is no longer exempt from playing in the Open, but that doesn't mean he has given up on playing in golf's oldest championship.

Player, who won three British Opens in three decades, will try to make the field for the 47th consecutive year by playing a 36-hole qualifier.

He no longer is exempt because players must be 65 or under by July 21, the final round of this year's British Open at Muirfield. Player turned 66 last November.

Player's son said his father's goal is to play in 50 straight British Opens.

``For him, he has always felt, 'I love this championships. I'm a three time winner in three different and I want to play,''' Marc Player said.

``We spoke on the phone and he said, 'I'm determined, I'm passionate and I am feeling good about my game.'

``He wants to keep the streak alive. That's so typical of him, saying I am going to go down fightintg to the end whether I do it or not.''

Final qualifying will be staged the Sunday and Monday before the Open at Dunbar, Gullane No. 1, Luffness New and North Berwick.

``It would be a wonderful achievement if he made it through final qualifying to continue his unique run of 46 consecutive championships,'' Royal & Ancient secretary Peter Dawson said Wednesday.

Player first British Open in 1954 and won the silver claret jug in 1959 at Muirfield, in 1968 at Royal Liverpool and in 1974 at Royal Lytham.

He last made the cut in 1995 at St. Andrews, a tie for 68th.


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