Final Qualifiers Ready for Open


GULLANE, Scotland - The last entries into this week's British Open at Muirfield have been determined following the completion of the 36-hole final qualifying Monday. A total of 480 players competed over four courses to decide the final 24 spots.
Steve Elkington, who ousted Colin Montgomerie in a playoff to capture the 1995 PGA Championship, held on to earn a spot in the field after an errant shot from heavy rough at the 18th nearly cost him.
'I feel bloody terrible,' said the Australian, who posted a round of 70 to finish at 137. 'It was a sad finish after a poor start. At 18 I was trying to hack it out with a wedge after slipping on the tee and the ball came out fast, went 100 yards and over a wall. I've never seen a ball come out like that one did. It cost me. I had to drop in the same thick stuff, but I got a better lie.'
Elkington finished alongside Ian Garbutt and Mattias Eliasson at Dunbar. Patrik Sjoland of Sweden led all players at Dunbar after opening with a 65 Sunday. He carded a 69 to finish at 134 with amateur Simon Young. Luke Donald and Esteban Toledo each carded rounds of 69 Monday to qualify at 136.
At Gullane No. 1, Sweden's Fredrik Andersson was the top qualifier after shooting 62 on Sunday. He posted a 69 Monday to finish at 131 alongside South Africa's James Kingston. The duo was followed by Adam Mednick, Raymond Russell and John Senden at 133. A playoff was held to decide the final two spots at Gullane with Gary Emerson and Richard Bland qualifying over Jon Levitt and Neil Cheetham.
Scott Henderson led all qualifiers at North Berwick with a two-day total of 133. Matthew Cort, Paul Mayoh and Trevor Immelman also survived the 36 holes with a score of 135. A playoff was necessary in this group as well with David Park and Roger Wessels besting Tom Whitehouse for the final two spots.
At Luffness New, Peter Baker, Benn Barham, Andrew Coltart and amateur John Kemp qualified at 133. Coltart established a new course record with a 61 Sunday to propel him into the Open.
Full coverage of the 131st British Open