Barnes wins British Open qualifiers in Australia


MELBOURNE, Australia – Kurt Barnes shot a second-round 8-under-par 64 at Kingston Heath on Friday to win the 36-hole British Open Australasian qualifying tournament.

Barnes, who had a two-round total of 10-under 134, will be joined at the Open by fellow Australians Ewan Porter and Peter Senior as the three qualifiers from the 44-man field.

Porter, who led after 18 holes Thursday, finished two strokes back after a 68 while Senior shot 70, five strokes off Barnes.

Steve Jones and Aaron Townsend of Australia were the best of those not to qualify, two strokes behind Senior. Jones shot a 69 on Friday and Townsend 72.

The 139th Open Championship at St. Andrews will be played from July 15-18.

Porter has twice before qualified through the Australasian tournament, both times at his home club at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney in 2007 and 2008.

Senior will be playing the British Open for the 18th time – he last competed in 2000 at St. Andrews. He has played at St. Andrews four times previously, with his best showing 14th place on his debut in 1984.

Senior bogeyed the 18th hole Friday and had a nervous wait to see if he’d qualify.

“It feels fantastic,” Senior said. “I thought I had blown it coming down the last couple of holes but the score hung on and I am really excited about going there.”

Other International Final Qualifying tournaments are scheduled for Jan, 20-21 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington in South Africa, an Asian qualifying tournament at a date and venue to be announced, May 24 at Gleneagles Country Club in Piano, Texas and the European qualifying tournament on June 7 at Sunningdale Golf Club in Surrey, England.