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Swindon duo miss out on the Open
BOWOOD’S Sam Matton came within two shots of making a play-off for the Open Championship in local final qualifying yesterday.
The Swindon-based player was in a terrific position after the first round at West Lancashire having fired a three-under-par 69, leaving him in a five-way tie for second.
Teeing off his second round at the 10th, the 23-year-old was five-under after 27 holes but then faltered down the front nine, dropping back to three-under overall.
“I’m pretty gutted, I played well in the morning but not quite as well in the afternoon,” said Matton.
“My gameplan was good and for the most part I executed it pretty well, I just needed a few more putts to drop.
“I’m disappointed at the moment but that’s just the initial reaction. I’ll get over it and just move on.
“I gave it a good shot and I know I’m good enough to get through to the Open, I just have to hope I do it next year.”
New Zealand’s Steven Alker won outright on seven-under while USA’s Scott Pinckney and Scotland’s Steven O’Hara came through a four-way play-off.
Meanwhile, Ben Loughrey came face to face with the famous Claret Jug at the start of his second round at St Annes Old Links in local final qualifying, but that is as close as he will get to it this year.
The Wrag Barn amateur finished on six-over-par for the day with an expensive first 18 of four-over meaning he would need a miracle in the afternoon’s play.
While he carded an improved two-over, that score left him nowhere near the top of the leaderboard, but the England international was in philosophical mood afterwards.
“I can’t be too disappointed because just I didn’t play well enough, it’s not like I put myself in a good position,” he said.
“I didn’t make enough birdies in the first round. Once you’re four-over you know you’re going to have to shoot 61 or 62 to qualify and I’m just not playing well enough to shoot those scores.
“But there’s plenty more years to go.
“It was nice to see the Claret Jug at the first tee, but I didn’t want to pick that up as I’d prefer to leave it till I’m actually in the event.”
Englishmen Paul Broadhurst and Barry Lane qualified on seven-under and six-under respectively, while Argentine Rafael Echenique achieved the same feat on six-under.