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Page last updated at 19:36 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 20:36 UK

Storm triumphs in Open qualifying

Graeme Storm
Storm finished in a tie for 39th in last year's Open at Royal Birkdale

England's Graeme Storm secured a place in the 2009 Open after two rounds of final qualifying at Sunningdale.

Storm shot a record eight-under 62 on the New Course in the morning and ended 10-under with Argentine Rafa Echenique.

One shot behind were David Drysdale, Gary Orr and Branden Grace, while Rhys Davies, Paul Broadhurst and Raphael Jacquelin qualified in joint sixth.

Richie Ramsay and Oliver Fisher came through a six-man play-off for the last two spots at Turnberry.

Scotland's former US Amateur champion Ramsay grabbed his place with a birdie at the third extra hole, and England's Fisher hit his approach to two feet for a birdie at the fourth to clinch his berth.

England's Mark Foster and Danny Willett, Irishman Peter Lawrie and Dutchman Taco Remkes were the four who missed out in the play-off.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Ireland's Shane Lowry, England's Nick Dougherty and Frenchman Thomas Levet also failed to qualify from the 96-man field.

Hartlepool's Storm, 31, who was ninth after three rounds of last year's Open at Royal Birkdale before ending up in 39th place, added a 68 over the Old Course in the afternoon, while Echenique carded 66, 64 to secure his place at the Open which begins on 16 July.

Scotland's Drysdale, who played as a marker for John Daly in the Open 17 years ago, will now take part officially after nine previous attempts to qualify.

"I was 17 and it was a big buzz. It would be just great if I got to play with Daly again - he was fantastic," he said.

The 34-year-old booked his spot after rounds of 65 and 66, helped by a hole-in-one on the 217-yard 10th hole of the New Course.

It would be just great if I got to play with John Daly again

Open qualifier David Drysdale

Ten years ago Drysdale was in the same qualifying event as Paul Lawrie and out-scored him by six in the opening round, but then he missed out while Lawrie went on to win at Carnoustie.

Frenchman Jacquelin led final qualifying two weeks ago for the US Open.

"I guess I'm pretty good at these things," he said.

Bjorn, who was joint second behind Tiger Woods at St Andrews in 2000, finished only one shot from the play-off, but Levet, who lost out to Ernie Els in a play-off in 2002, was seven adrift and was then disqualified for signing for the wrong score.

Lowry, who last month won the Irish Open as an amateur, had his best two rounds as a professional so far, but 70 and 69 put him only one under.

Frenchman Christian Cevaer, winner of the European Open two weeks ago, missed out by five shots and Wales Open runner-up Niclas Fasth was seven strokes adrift.

Warwickshire veteran Broadhurst, 43, who still holds a joint share of the lowest round in Open history (his Saturday 63 at St Andrews in 1990), qualified on eight-under 132.

Broadhurst, who will be playing in his 13th Open at Turnberry, followed a morning 65 on the New Course with an afternoon 67 on the Old.

Londoner Fisher, 20, was a shot back on seven-under 133 to be forced into that six-man play-off.

But, after three previous failed attempts to pre-qualify, the Chigwell-based hopeful ultimately held his nerve in the play-off at that fourth extra hole to book the last of the 10 qualifying places on offer - and his first visit to an Open.



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see also
Wales' Davies qualifies for Open
05 Jun 09 |  Golf
Brilliant Harrington retains Open
20 Jul 08 |  Golf


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