Sunday, 07 July 2019
Robert Rock  (Getty Images)
Robert Rock (Getty Images)

Robert Rock thought his days playing at The Open Championship might be over but he will be teeing it up at Royal Portrush Golf Club after a strong showing at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The top three players in the top ten not already exempt at the second Rolex Series event of the season earned their places at the year's final Major Championship and Rock will be joined by fellow Englishman Paul Waring and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

Rock missed out in Final Qualifying for The Open on July 2 as he sought an eighth appearance at an event where he finished in the top ten in 2010.

But he put that disappointment behind him as a stunning third round 60 at Lahinch Golf Club helped him finish at 13 under and in a share of fourth.

"I'm looking forward to playing another Open," he said. "I didn't know whether I would get to play in any more."

Waring needed a birdie on the last to finish at 12 under and seal his fourth appearance at The Open.

The 34-year-old finished in the top ten at the Irish Open at Portrush in 2012 and cannot wait to return.

"It's absolutely fantastic," he said. "I thought I gave myself a chance after holing that long putt on 16. A good finish down the last, hit a great shot into 18, lagged the putt a little bit but my caddie was in my ear that we didn't need to go racing it past. To birdie the last to get in is fantastic.

"I played it in 2012 for the Irish Open and I've never seen crowds like it, it was absolutely fantastic, this week has been fantastic. For an Open to be there, I think it's going to be spectacular."

A closing 66 saw Wiesberger finish at 14 under in County Clare, and his sixth Open appearance comes after he missed seven months of last season with a wrist injury.

"That was the goal starting the week," he said. "It's great to be in position to play with all these guys in the biggest events and there's no bigger than The Open Championship and the Majors.

"I had a lot of time to reflect and work on some things in my game, a lot on the mental state of being out on the golf course, that's a lot better. It's nice to see it pay off every now and again.

"It was a good week, there is something in the Irish water for me, I always play well here."

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