By the time you read this, it’s day two of The Open, with the Qualifying Series coming to an exciting conclusion last Sunday when Tyrrell Hatton, Nicolas Colsaerts, Matteo Manassero and Richie Ramsay secured the final four places in The 145th Open at Royal Troon. The Scottish Open was the final event in the Series, which offered 44 places in golf’s most international major at Tour events in nine countries around the world. The field for The Open is now complete, and the four will take their place alongside the world’s best players as they take on the challenge of Royal Troon’s historic links through to Sunday’s final round.
Englishman Hatton finished runner-up at Castle Stuart with a closing 69, his best finish on the European Tour to date. The 24-year-old birdied the last to finish on 13-under-par, a shot behind winner Alex Noren of Sweden. He is now set to make his fifth appearance in golf’s first championship, having found success twice before in The Open Qualifying Series in 2014 and 2015, and also qualifying as an amateur on his major championship debut in 2010.
Colsaerts, a two-time winner on the European Tour, closed out the tournament with his second straight 66 to share third place with Manassero. The 33-year-old Belgian is set to make his third start in The Open, and earned his best finish in a Major Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012 where he finished tied for seventh. He said after securing his place.
Italian Manassero, winner of the BMW PGA Championship in 2013, finished with a two-under-par 70 to book his sixth start in The Open. The 23-year-old has earned two top-20 finishes in the Championship and won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur at Turnberry in 2009.
Home favourite Ramsay finished three shots back in sixth place on 11-under-par after closing round of 67. The 33-year-old Scot is a three-time winner on the European Tour and won the US Amateur Champion in 2006. He’s now made his sixth start in The Open this week joining five other Scottish players in the field.
As an aside, what a major blow for golf and UK TV viewers as after 60-plus years there is live “free to air” coverage of The Open. Throwing away the annual major showcase for golf for the sake of a few extra pennies from SKY is dreadfully short-sighted and will marginalise our great sport.