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Twelve qualify for Open

Former European Tour rookie of the year Jim Payne was one of 12 players who booked places at next week's British Open at Hoylake after local final qualifying on Tuesday.

Briton Payne led the way at Formby, firing a one-under-par 71 in gusting winds for a 36-hole total of six-under 138.

Fellow Englishmen Andrew Marshall and Darren Parris, joint runners-up at five under, also qualified for the third major championship of the year.

Finland's Mikko Ilonen, who claimed the British amateur title at Hoylake in 2000, was one of three successful qualifiers at Conwy.

The Finn added a 73 to his opening 69 to share second place with Briton Warren Bladon (72) at two-under 142.

Englishman Jon Bevan, who made his British Open debut at Carnoustie in 1999, finished three strokes in front after shooting a second-round 66.

Local final qualifying also took place at Wallasey and West Lancashire with three Open berths on offer at each venue.

Britons Danny Dennison and Gary Day and Markus Brier of Austria sealed the spots at Wallasey while English trio Nick Ludwell, Gary Lockerbie and Adam Frayne led the way at West Lancashire.

A total of 384 players competed at the four qualifying venues.

The 135th British Open will be played at Hoylake in north-west England from July 20-23 when world number one Tiger Woods will defend the title he won by five shots at St Andrews last year.

July 12, 2006


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