Tuesday, May 22, 2012


US PGA Tour rookie Harris English will be making his debut appearance at The Open Championship in July following a new course record and career low opening round of 10-under-par 60, including birdies on his last six holes at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas. 
The American recorded a second round of 63, 7-under-par, to easily win the 36-hole International Final Qualifying (IFQ) America by four strokes over England’s Greg Owen.
The 6,871-yard, par 70 Queens Course hosted the event for the fourth consecutive year to determine the eight qualifiers for golf’s oldest Major Championship held on 19-22 July at Royal Lytham & St Annes. 
In addition to English and Owen, Stephen Ames, Andres Romero and Justin Hicks all advanced into the Championship recording 10-under-par 130 over the 36 holes.
The final three spots were determined by a play-off between Americans James Driscoll and Bob Estes, Sweden’s Daniel Chopra and Scot Russell Knox after all finished on 9-under-par.
Estes made birdie at the par-4 first to claim the first spot. Estes, who qualified though IFQ America last year, will be making his 13th Open Championship start, with his best finish being a T8 in 1995. A pair of pars at the par-3 17th was good enough for Driscoll and Chopra to survive and grab the remaining two places.
English, 22, earned his way onto the PGA Tour in 2012 by virtue of a T13 finish at the 2011 US PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.  In 2011 he became the third amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour, having won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational.
A delighted English said, “I kind of lost track of how many straight birdies I made.  I was relaxed. I had some fun. I was striking the ball really well. In fact, I was doing everything really well.”
“I knew the wind wasn’t going to be blowing, so I knew the scores were going to be low. I couldn’t let up,” English said. “I decided to keep the pedal to the metal on the last 18 holes, where I left myself in a really good position to make putts.”
The key, English admitted, was staying in the moment. “It would be very easy to lose your focus and not put everything into it,” he said. "But, I did, and it paid off.”
English has made 14 starts on the US PGA Tour in 2012, and will now make his first Open Championship start later this year.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I played in the Walker Cup last year in Scotland, which was a really special experience. I mean, it’s the home of golf over there. I told my parents and my agent that I really, really wanted to play in The Open, so I came here today with that goal…and here I go.”
Greg Owen reeled off four birdies in a row in his afternoon round on holes 13-16 en route to a 9-under-par 61, following an opening round 66.
Owen, who made an albatross in the third round at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 2001 to temporarily take the lead (finished T23), will be making his seventh Open Championship start, and first since a T22 finish in 2006. 
“It was just a good round where everything just kept going the right way,” Owen said. “I kept hitting fairways, and when I did hit it in the rough, I managed to hit it close. The one scare I had on the eighth hole was one I made birdie on. It’s a strange game. I haven’t had a round like that in years.”
Following a 1-under-par 69 in his first round, Stephen Ames made eight birdies and an eagle in his afternoon 18 holes to finish with a 9-under-par 61. He finished T3 with Andres Romero and Justin Hicks.
Ames will be making his 12th Open Championship start in July and will be hoping to improve on his two top-10 finishes (T7 in 2008, T5 in 1997).
This is the ninth time IFQ has been held in the United States and fourth straight time in Texas. Gleneagles was chosen due to its proximity to the PGA Tour’s Texas swing, less than 20 miles from the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, where Jason Dufner won last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship. Gleneagles is approximately 50 miles from Colonial Country Club, where the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is being contested this week. 


Par 140 (2x70)
English, Owen, Ames, Romero and Hicks all qualified outright with Estes, Chopra and Driscoll qualifying after a playoff.

123 Harris English (60,63)
127 Greg Owen (66,61)
130 Stephen Ames (69,61); Justin Hicks (67,63); Andres Romero (67,63)
131 Bob Estes (66,65); James Driscoll (66,65); Russell Knox (65,66); Daniel Chopra (64,67)
132 Patrick Reed (68,64); David Mathis (67,65); Roberto Castro (67,65); Ryan Moore (67,65); Tommy Gainey (64,68)
133 Kevin Streelman (70,63); Daniel Summerhays (67,66); Charley Hoffman (66,67); Michael Putnam (66,67); Nick O'Hern (65,68); Harrison Frazar (65,68)
134 Vaughn Taylor (68,66); D A Points (67,67); Nathan Green (67,67); Kelly Kraft (66,68); Tim Petrovic (66,68); Jeff Overton (65,69); Michael Thompson (64,70)
135 George McNeill (68,67); Martin Flores (68,67); John Rollins (68,67)
136 Bryce Molder (69,67); Lee Janzen (65,71)
137 Mathew Goggin (69,68); Heath Slocum (68,69); Frank Lickliter II (66,71); Kyle Reifers (66,71)
138 David Hearn (71,67); David Lipsky (71,67); John Peterson (69,69); Camilo Villegas (68,70); Adam Hadwin (68,70); Kyle Thompson (67,71); Matt Every (65,73)
139 Rafael Campos (70,69); Brendan Steele (70,69); Ryan Palmer (69,70); Dustin Risdon (68,71); Duffy Waldorf (67,72)
14Jhonattan Vegas (68,72); Spencer Levin (66,74)
141 - Bud Cauley (69,72)
142 - Steven Wheatcroft (73,69); Charlie Wi (73,69); Guillermo Pumarol (71,71); Brian Davis (69,73); Tom Hoge (69,73)
143 - Roger Sloan (69,74); Henrik Stenson (68,75)
144 - Danny Lee (70,74)
147 - Miguel Angel Carballo (74,73)



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