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Four Australians qualify for The Open

Australians Andrew Tampion, Brad Lamb, Ewan Porter and Peter Fowler booked their places in this year's Open at Royal Birkdale after taking the top four positions at the Australasian qualifying tournament on Tuesday.

Tampion won the 36-hole one day event at The Lakes in Sydney with rounds of 67 and 71 and a total of eight-under par.

Lamb, Porter and Fowler all finished tied for second at five-under, one stroke ahead of two other players.

Fowler, 48, qualified for his 12th British Open with a birdie on the last hole, draining a five meter putt on the tricky par-3 18th.

"I hit a stinging four-iron to exactly the right part of the green and the putt was all or nothing," Fowler told reporters.

"I love playing in the Open. It's the tournament. It's the biggest golf tournament in the world and if you're not in it, it's really sad."

Among the casualties was Japanese high school student Ryo Ishikawa, who was making his professional debut, but missed out by nine shots after rounds of 72 and 78.

Ishikawa shot to fame in May last year when he became the youngest winner on the Japanese tour at 15 years and eight months at the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup while still an amateur.

His decision to turn professional last month is predicted to net him close to $10 million in the next five years, a figure which could more than treble as endorsements flood in.

The Australasian leg was the second of five international qualifying events for the British Open. The remaining three will be held in Singapore, the United States and England.


February 6, 2008

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