The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
Highlights: Red Button, BBC Sport website and iPlayer
By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at St Andrews
Rock finished joint seventh at The Open
Robert Rock made one of the great Open recoveries as he bounced back from what looked like a missed cut on Friday night to a top-10 finish at St Andrews.
The 32-year-old Midlander only knew that he was through to the final two rounds on Saturday morning when he sneaked in by just a stroke.
But he made up for lost time with rounds of 67 and 69 over the weekend.
"It's massive not having to go through qualifying. It's great to have made the top 10," Rock told BBC Sport.
"Now I know I am definitely in for Royal St Georges and it makes it easier for me to plan for next year now, knowing that I've definitely qualified."
Rugeley-born Rock's seventh-place finish surpassed his previous best of 16th in Hoylake in 2006.
Despite the annoyance of missing a short birdie putt at the first, he went to the turn in two-under 34, thanks to birdies at 5, 6 and 8 to offset his one dropped shot on the front nine at the eighth.
He then let another slip at 11, only to respond with birdies at 14 and 18 for an inward 34.
After a good run yesterday and a decent round today, it just shows what can happen when you're not expecting it
That meant the Belfry-backed Staffordshire pro, who ended up tied for seventh on six under, had finished as he had begun on the first day with an impressive 69.
And it was his third sub-70 round of a week round the Old Course spoiled only by Friday's wind-ravaged 78.
Rock, who now heads straight off for Sweden for the Scandinavian Masters, will bank £110,000 for his week's efforts.
And he was the first to admit that he had made the most of his Open reprieve, having assumed that he mad missed the cut when he left the course on two over on Friday evening, when the projected cut mark was still at one over.
"I've had a good weekend," he said. "There was no pressure on me. And, after a good run yesterday and a decent round today, it just shows what can happen when you're not expecting it.
"It's been a great final day. Most things went to plan all the way round.
"I missed a short putt for birdie on the first and then I dropped one at eight but I've struggled with that tee shot all week so that was not a surprise.
"Then I struggled for par on 17 but made a decent putt and I birdied the last after almost holing my pitch from 40 yards, which hit the hole."