Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Australasia Qualifiers for the Open Championship ()
Australasia Qualifiers for the Open Championship ()

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  • Mark Brown
New Zealander Mark Brown produced a scintillating course record 62 at Kingston Heath in Melbourne to win a place in July's Open Championship.

The 37 year old qualified for Muirfield along with Australians Steven Jeffress and Stephen Dartnall, who survived after amateur Cameron Smith double-bogeyed the 442 yard 16th and dropped from second to joint fourth.

Starting the day joint 27th and five shots off the pace, former European Tour winner Brown fired an eagle and eight birdies.

"I was a fair way back, so wasn't really thinking about it too much - I just went out and tried to enjoy it," he said.

"It's massive. I love this place and have got so much respect for it. It's quite a thrill to hold the course record.

"If there's one Major you want to play, for me this would be it."

His only previous Open appearance was at Turnberry in 2009 and he missed the halfway cut.

Jeffress, whose second round 67 left him one behind Brown on nine under par, is also 37 years and this will be his first Major.

"It probably hasn't even sunk in yet. It's going to be great, it's going to be unbelievable," he said after grabbing birdies at the 15th and 16th.

Dartnall's 69 proved good enough after he had shared the overnight lead with Australian amateur champion Smith.

"I've never played a major before, so it will be a good learning experience to go there and obviously try and play well," said Dartnall.

Former Scottish Open champion Peter O'Malley missed out on a play-off by one, as did Smith and their Australian compatriots Nevan Basic, Scott Laycock and Anthony Summers.

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