Three qualify for British Open despite wildfires

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MELBOURNE, Australia ' Peter Senior missed out on making the field for his 18th British Open by one stroke on Tuesday, with the three places in Australasian qualifying going to New Zealander Josh Geary and Australians Timothy Wood and Michael Wright.
 
After two rounds in one day at the Kingston Heath Golf Club near Melbourne, Geary and Wood finished in a tie for first with a 4-under total of 140.
 
Wright was a shot back at 3 under, with Senior and Cameron Percy finishing one stroke further back in fourth place. The top three qualified for the Open at Turnberry, Scotland in July.
 
With devastating wildfires claiming at least 181 lives across Victoria state in recent days, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club checked with local PGA officials before deciding to go ahead with the qualifying tournament at Kingston Heath, one of the provinces famous sandbelt courses.
 
We have all been deeply saddened by news of the devastating fires in Victoria and our thoughts are with all those touched by this tragedy, R&A chairman Peter Dawson said. We did consider postponing our IFQ event but, having sought local opinion, we have decided to proceed as planned.
 
The R&A said it would make a contribution to the Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund.
 
Two of Australias most experienced players were vying for a place at Turnberry, with Senior and Craig Parry having 35 Open appearances between them. Parry finished in 20th place at 5 over.
 
Each finished as high as fourth place in the Open. Parry was fourth at Carnoustie in 1999 and Senior was fourth at Sandwich in 1993. Senior hasnt played the Open since 2000. Parry hit the opening shot in last years tournament.