Colin Montgomerie sank five birdies in the last seven holes to qualify for the 2010 Open at St Andrews with a course-record equalling 62 at Sunningdale New.
The European Ryder Cup captain, who was one under at the halfway stage of the 36-hole play-off, sank eight birdies to take one of the 10 places on offer.
He tied for second with Andrew Coltart, to extend his run of Open starts to 21.
Ireland's Shane Lowry equalled Sunningdale's Old Course record with a 62 to win the 96-man qualifying event.
Lowry was only one under after the first nine holes of his opening 18, but he sank six successive birdies on the back nine before tapping in from 18 inches on the par four 17th to equal Sir Nick Faldo's Old Course record, set at the 1986 European Open.
He followed that with a 67 to win the qualifying.
"I've been struggling on the greens and confidence was a bit low, so I changed my putter this morning," said Lowry. "After nine holes I said to my caddie I'm going to have to be patient and it certainly paid off.
"St Andrews is going to be great. I said at the start of the year it's one tournament I wanted to play."
He will be joined by Montgomerie, who rolled back the years at the Berkshire course to ensure he continued his run of not missing The Open since making his debut at St Andrews in 1990.
A mixed bag of four birdies and three dropped shots in the 46-year-old's opening 18 holes, over Sunningdale's Old Course, gave little indication of what was to come as he produced a flawless afternoon round on the New Course.
He opened his second round with two birdies and was three under at the turn. He then showed his mettle under pressure to sink five birdies in the last seven holes to qualify for on nine under par.
Montgomerie, who finished runner-up to world number one Tiger Woods the last time The Open was played at St Andrews in 2005, said: "It's a special place no question and I'm just glad the opportunity has been taken.
"I said to my caddie I'll be 47 when The Open comes round and this will probably be my last opportunity to play it at St Andrews."
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn was one shot behind Montgomerie in a tie for fourth with Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin, while Spanish duo Jose Manuel Lara and Ignacio Garrido qualified alongside Argentina's Tano Goya and Bradley Dredge of Wales in a tie for sixth.
The final qualifying spot went to Germany's Marcel Siem who birdied the first extra play-off hole after he had tied with Sweden's Patrik Sjoland, France's Gregory Bourdy, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Ireland's Peter Lawrie.
South Africa's James Kingston was also tied for 10th, but he had already opted to head off to Heathrow for a flight to Botswana instead of taking part in the play-off.
Among those who missed out were Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley, while 17-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero missed a 12-foot eagle putt on the last to sneak into the play-off.
The teenager tied for 13th at last year's Open at Turnberry and turned professional after finishing joint 36th at The Masters in April.
The 150th anniversary Open Championship begins on Thursday, 15 July.