Friday, June 03, 2011


Next Monday (June 6), Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn will attempt to earn his place at the 2011 Open Championship, at International Final Qualifying (IFQ) Europe. Ten places at golf’s oldest Major are available to the field of 96 players, who will play 36 holes in one day at Sunningdale Golf Club – 18 on the Old Course and 18 on the New.
Bjorn led The Open by one stroke, going into the final day at Sandwich in 2003, before finding trouble on the closing stretch.
The 40-year-old, then just 32, eventually finished in a tie for second place, one shot behind new Champion Ben Curtis, whom he had led by three on the 15th tee. In thirteen Open appearances, Bjorn has registered four top-tens, including another runners-up finish at St Andrews in 2000.
“It would have been nice to have won an Open Championship and get your career on from there, but it didn't happen,” said Bjorn ahead of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor. “I played some of the best golf of my life that week, but I just didn't finish it off. That's what happens in golf. But I don't dwell on it at all.
“I knew in 2003 that the next time The Open Championship is at St George's, I knew it was going to come up, but what can you do about it. I'm grateful that I, in my golf career, have been able to put myself in those positions and know what it's like to be in those positions, because most guys out here never get in that position.”
“Yes, I’m in doubt of qualifying for The Open, so I have to go there [Sunningdale] on Monday and try and do that,” added the 11-time European Tour winner, who won the Qatar Masters earlier this year.
The captain of Europe’s successful 2010 Ryder Cup campaign, Colin Montgomerie, will take his place at IFQ, hoping to earn a 22nd consecutive Open start. 
The eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner, who finished tied-seventh at last week’s PGA Championship at Wentworth, has a best Open finish of second, which he achieved at St Andrews in 2005. The 47-year-old earned a return to St Andrews, last year, by qualifying through IFQ.
Three shots better than Montgomerie at Wentworth was Simon Dyson, who will also attempt to qualify on Monday. Dyson finished two strokes behind Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the world numbers one and two, respectively, alone in third place at the PGA Championship. The 33-year-old has played in seven previous Opens, with a best finish of tied-34th in 2005. He did, however, show his undoubted links pedigree in winning the 2009 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Other notable names in the world-class field include India’s Jeev Milka Singh, Scots Richie Ramsay and Scott Jamieson, and Englishmen Oliver Wilson, 2008 Silver Medalist Chris Wood and David Horsey, who, like Dyson, qualified for the 2008 Open through IFQ Europe.
Play will get underway at 6.30am local time on both the 6,636yd, par-70 Old Course and the 6,729yd, par-69 New Course at Sunningdale.
Live scores and stories will be published on throughout the day.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google