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R&A upset at US qualification attendance

British Open organisers expressed their disappointment on Tuesday after nearly half the field for the U.S. leg of international qualifying failed to turn up.

The Royal and Ancient Club had hoped to make qualifying for July's third major at Royal Troon more accessible to overseas competitors by staging extra qualifying rounds in Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and the U.S.

Previously, qualifying rounds were only held in Britain.

But 53 competitors failed to compete in Maryland on Monday, leaving 67 players to challenge over 36 holes for 15 automatic places in the championship which runs from July 15 to 18.

Forty-six withdrew over the weekend and a further seven failed to arrive for their Monday teeoffs at the Congressional course.

"Obviously, it's disappointing when that number of players choose to withdraw," said an R&A spokesman. "We shall be discussing the whole qualifying procedure after the Open at a meeting when all matters connected with the championship are talked through."

Twice U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, Germany's Alex Cejka and former U.S. Ryder Cup player Steve Pate were among those who failed to qualify. Swedes Carl Petterson and Matthias Gronberg and American Spike McRoy topped the U.S. qualifying.

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