Montgomerie qualifies for Open after playoff
Britain's Colin Montgomerie booked his place at next month'sOpen after surviving a 12-man playoff for the final six spots in the European leg of international qualifying on Monday.
The seven-times European number one came through at the second extra hole, joining 16 others from a field of 120 at Sunningdale Golf Club with automatic berths in the third of the year's four majors.
Also qualifying with Montgomerie were Irish Ryder Cup player Paul McGinley, Argentina's Eduardo Romero, Swedes Marten Olander and Peter Hedblom, Dutchman Maarten Lafeber, Christian Cavaer of France and Britons Warren Bennett, Paul Broadhurst and Kenneth Ferrie.
However, Swedish Ryder Cup player Jesper Parnevik missed out by one shot, after carding rounds of 70 and 68, along with Englishman Justin Rose, who slipped to a 73 after firing a superb six-under 65 at Sunningdale's New Course in the morning.
Also failing to qualify were European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer, after scores of 75 and 70, and former U.S. Masters champions Jose Maria Olazabal (68, 71) and Ian Woosnam (71, 69).
"It's been a very tough day. I suppose I've got in through the back door," a relieved Montgomerie told reporters after rounds of 68 and 69 had left him at six-under 137 in regulation play.
"This is the first decent thing that's happened to me for a long time," added the 41-year-old Scot, who is in the throes of a divorce following the break-up of his marriage two months ago.
"We're back at Royal Troon where I know every blade of grass and I expect I will get a lot of support up there. At the moment I am very happy."
The first three players to book their passage into the July 15-18 Open at Royal Troon in Scotland were Britons Mark Foster and Broadhurst and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, all three completing rounds of 66 and 68 to finish at nine-under 134.
Eleven players finished at seven-under 136 or better after 36 holes of qualifying, leaving 12 locked at six under to battle it out for the remaining six spots.
Rose, who took the golfing world by storm as an amateur by chipping in at the last to tie for fourth in the 1998 British Open at Royal Birkdale, was distraught after missing out by a stroke.
"I'm gutted, to be honest," the 23-year-old Englishman told reporters. "I've only got myself to blame. I'm hitting it terribly. I seem to blow hot and cold at the moment."
The Sunningdale tournament was one of five 36-hole qualifiers which took place around the world between January and June.
The first three were held in South Africa, Australia and Malaysia, with four players qualifying from each.
The final two qualifiers were played at Sunningdale and at Congressional Country Club, Maryland in the United States, also on Monday.
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