American Dick McClean defied high winds at Royal Portrush to head the Final Qualifying for the Senior British Open with an outstanding 68, two under par, at the Valley Course.
After birdies at the fourth and ninth holes, McCLean picked up an eagle at the long 10th to comfortably qualify for the Senior British Open which gets underway on Thursday. Other successful qualifiers included former Ryder Cup player Guy Hunt after a 71, Scotland’s Andrew Brooks and three amateurs – Americans Joel Hirsch and Norman Swenson Jnr and Northern Ireland’s John Meneeely. Twenty-six players successfully qualified, the last six places decided after an eight-man play-off.
At Castlerock Japan’s Yutaka Suzuki and American John Brott led the qualifying with one over par rounds of 74. Other qualifiers included the former Welsh World Cup player David Vaughan and Northern Ireland’s Gordon Parkhill. Amateurs Frank Gannon and Roy Smethhurst, from England, also made it through. Twenty-nine players qualified from Castlerock, the last spot going to American Pat Kaylor after a seven-man play-off.
The 55 players join those already exempt for the 13th Senior British Open and fifth to be played at Royal Portrush.