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Richard Green gets Open place

Australian Richard Green has been handed a slot in the British Open following the decision of American Woody Austin not to travel to Carnoustie next week.

Austin, 43 and a three-time winner on the US PGA tour, was offered a spot along with Hunter Mahan on the basis of a mini Order of Merit on the tour.

But he declined it, saying: "I don't know how to play that type of golf and I would probably go over there and shoot two high numbers and make a fool of myself."

Green replaces him as the highest non-exempt player on the world rankings, having said only last week that he found it "staggering" that his position -- currently 39th -- did not guarantee him a start at Carnoustie.

The left-hander won the Austrian Open last month the week after the Open Championship cut-off point for the world's top 50.

He missed out on the US Open and added: "Having to sit at home on the couch watching it rather than playing in it was hard. But I wasn't mentally prepared for Oakmont. It's different with Carnoustie. I've prepared my schedule for it and even organised accommodation, although we stopped short of signing contracts for the house when I realised I wasn't in."

Mahan took a very different attitude to Austin after learning he had qualified for the Open. "I love the British. Any time you can play in a major it's good and you get a little bit of experience," said the 25-year-old.

"I've been there two years, it's a ton of fun, golf in its pure form. All I know about Carnoustie is just kind of what I've seen on TV a little bit. I'm going in there pretty fresh and will have to come up with a game plan Monday through Wednesday."

Mahan finished 36th on his Open debut at Royal Troon in 2004 and 26th at Hoylake last July. Another American, Pat Perez, also qualified thanks to his third place finish in the ATT National in Maryland.



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