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Monday, 24 June 2013
Brooks Koepka  (EuropeanTour)
Brooks Koepka (EuropeanTour)
American Brooks Koepka continued his brilliant season by qualifying for next month's Open Championship at Muirfield.

Koepka, whose third Challenge Tour win of the year on Sunday earned him instant "battlefield promotion" to The European Tour, sealed his place by winning International Final Qualifying at Sunningdale.

The 23 year old carded rounds of 69 and 65 over the Old and New courses respectively to finish five under par, one shot clear of England's Oliver Fisher, who returned scores of 70 and 65.

France's Gregory Bourdy, England's Richard McEvoy, Spain's Alvaro Quiros and Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin finished on three under, with Sweden's Niclas Fasth and Scotland's Scott Jamieson also qualifying on two under.

That left Ross Fisher, David Drysdale, Alejandro Cañizares and Estanislao Goya - who all finished one under - in a play-off to claim the ninth and final qualifying place, with Goya coming out on top at the second extra hole.

Fisher and Drysdale were eliminated after bogeys at the first play-off hole and a par three on the next was enough for Goya to seal a trip to Muirfield after Cañizares three-putted from just off the green.

Among those to miss out were England's Tom Lewis, France's Thomas Levet and Ryder Cup Captains past and present Jose Maria Olazábal and Paul McGinley.

Lewis burst onto the scene with an opening 65 at Royal St George's in 2011, the lowest score by an amateur in Open history giving him a share of the lead.

The 22 year old went on to finish 30th and win the silver medal as leading amateur before turning professional and winning the Portugal Masters in just his third event in the paid ranks.

A first round of 66 on the Old Course this morning gave him the clubhouse lead on four under par, but a second round of 75 saw him finish two over par.

Levet was part of a four-man, four-hole play-off with Ernie Els, Steve Elkington and Stuart Appleby the last time The Open was staged at Muirfield at 2002, eventually losing out to Els on the first hole of sudden death.

But consecutive rounds of 70 today saw him miss out on the play-off by two shots, while Olazábal and McGinley were both three shots further back.

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