Justin Rose qualifies for The Open; see who else made it to Royal Troon

Englishman Justin Rose will head back to The Open Championship at Royal Troon after carding an 8-under 134 at Burnham and Berrow—one of the four qualifying sites scattered across the British Isles.

It will mark Rose’s 19th appearance in golf’s oldest major, with his best finish coming in 2018, when he tied for second at Carnoustie. The 2013 U.S. Open winner also played at Royal Troon in 2016, tying for 22nd.

“Sometimes you take it for granted—you’re exempt, you turn up and play for many years, but as you get older, things get a little harder, so in some ways, it’s good to have to qualify because it makes you appreciate The Open a little more and how special it is,” Rose said after.

“Coming back to Burnham and Berrow was also special—first time back here since 1997. I was grateful to be back here and walk down memory lane.”

Rose played spectacularly, tying fellow Englishman Dominic Clemmons—an amateur—atop the leaderboard. Mexican Abraham Ancer and Swede Charlie Lindh will join these two players in The Open from Southwest England.

Dominic Clemons, Abraham Ancer, Charlie Lindh, Justin Rose, The Open, Burnham and Berrow

The four players who qualified from Burnham and Berrow, from left to right: Dominic Clemons, Abraham Ancer, Charlie Lindh, and Justin Rose.
Photo by Luke Walker/R&A via Getty Images

Ancer, Lindh, and Indian Anirban Lahiri finished at 5-under, putting this trio in a 3-for-2 playoff to determine who would go to Royal Troon. But Lahiri failed to make par on the first extra hole, while the other two managed to do so, thus ending Lahiri’s bid of returning to The Open.

Miracles at Dundonald Links

Amateur Jack MacDonald, who grew up minutes from Royal Troon, drained a 25-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole to clinch a spot in the 152nd Open field. He defeated Swede Tim Widing, who has a pair of wins on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, and fellow Scotsman Daniel Young.

But that was not the only magic produced at Dundonald on Tuesday.

Ángel Hidalgo, who hails from Spain and has never played in a major championship, drained a 120-yard wedge shot for an eagle two on the par-4 9th—his final hole of the day—to leap up to 5-under overall and book a ticket to Troon. Talk about clutch.

At 26 years old, Hidalgo has never won on the DP World Tour, but he does have one victory to his name on the Challenge Tour—the European equivalent of the Korn Ferry Tour.

“I’m still shaking,” Hidalgo said of his miraculous shot.

Ángel Hidalgo, The Open

Ángel Hidalgo reacts to his miraculous final shot that got him into the 152nd Open.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/R&A via Getty Images

“The second shot was perfect distance. It was the first time all day I had a full club and at that type of moment. With nerves I prefer to have a full club. I didn’t see the ball go in but to be honest I don’t care. I just jumped and cried with my caddie, and we deserve it. We fight a lot. All this year we’ve not really had any luck so for it to finally take place in The Open would be a really good gift.”

Meanwhile, Englishman Sam Hutsby did not need any late miracles. He earned medalist honors at Dundonald thanks to a brilliant 8-under 136 over 36 holes. Hutsby finished three clear of Hidalgo and Irish amateur Liam Nolan, who hails from Galway on Ireland’s west coast. It will mark Hutsby and Nolan’s first major appearance.

“It’s hard to process the fact that I’m going to The Open,” Nolan said.

“I’m looking forward to everything: the crowds, it being in Scotland, the Home of Golf, and, yeah, I just can’t wait to go.”

Playoff at Royal Cinque Ports

Matthew Southgate set the pace and won medalist honors in Southeast England, fighting back tears after he made it to Royal Troon. But Royal Cinque Ports saw plenty of other drama unfold on Tuesday.

Australian Elvis Smylie and Spanish amateur Jaime Montojo finished at 3-under par, thus booking tickets to Ayrshire. But this serves as a full-circle moment for Smylie, the left-hander from the Gold Coast.

“Just saying that I’ve qualified for The Open gives me goosebumps,” Smylie said.

Elvis Smylie, The Open, Final Qualifying

Elvis Smylie poses with an Open flag after making it to Royal Troon.
Photo by Tom Dulat/R&A via Getty Images

“The last time I went to The Open was at Royal Troon in 2016, when I was 14 years old. Going there as a spectator eight years ago and now going back as a competitor—I don’t know what to say. I just can’t wait for the experience. I’ve already FaceTimed my dad, who’s back in Australia, and he said he will book a flight over. My mum is already over here commentating on Wimbledon, so everyone will come and watch me at Troon. I’m very excited.”

Both Smylie and Montojo will make their major debuts at Royal Troon.

A playoff between LIV Golf’s Branden Grace—the first man to shoot a 62 in a major championship—Jamie Rutherford and Spanish amateur Luis Masaveu determined the final spot from Royal Cinque Ports.

Masaveu won with a birdie on the second extra hole, becoming the 16th amateur to clinch a spot in this year’s Open field.

Nevertheless, a notable name did not qualify from Royal Cinque Ports: 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. Thomas Detry also failed to finish among the top four.

West Lanchasire sends three Englishmen to Royal Troon

Sergio Garcia headlined the field at West Lancashire, and for the second year in a row, the 2017 Masters champion came up short. He will not make his 100th major championship start; he will do so at Augusta National next April instead.

So, with Garcia not making the cut, West Lanchasire saw two Englishmen finish atop the leaderboard instead: Sam Horsfield of LIV Golf and amateur Matthew Dodd-Berry.

Horsfield and Dodd-Berry finished at 6-under par.

“It’s the greatest moment of my career and everything that I’ve been working towards, even though I should have probably done it a year earlier and played at Royal Liverpool,” Dodd-Berry said.

The Open, Final Qualifying, West Lancashire

From left to right: Sam Horsfield, Matthew Dodd-Berry, Daniel Brown, and Masahiro Kawamura pose during Final Qualifying for The Open at West Lancashire.
Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A via Getty Images

“I’m really excited to get to Troon.”

Horsfield is also eager to head to Ayrshire for the 152nd Open.

“I always say to everyone that The Open is my favorite major,” Horsfield said.

“I’d never had that feeling before, the one when they call your name on the first tee—that was the coolest experience. I’m really looking forward to getting back and hopefully continuing to play well. These are the stages you want to play on.”

Englishman Daniel Brown and Japan’s Misahiro Kawamura finished their 36 holes one stroke behind Horsfield and Dodd-Berry at 5-under, thus rounding out the four spots awarded at West Lancashire.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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