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Elk Among a Dozen British Open Qualifiers

135th Open Championship BETHESDA, Md. -- Steve Elkington and Jeff Maggert were among 12 players awarded spots in the British Open based on their world ranking Tuesday when a qualifying round at Congressional Country Club was canceled because of heavy rain.
The 36-hole qualifier, scheduled for Monday, was reduced to 18 holes because of rain delays at the Booz Allen Classic, then wiped out entirely when most of Congressional remained under water.
The Royal & Ancient decided to take the top 12 players in the qualifier based on the world ranking published immediately after the Booz Allen Classic: Elkington, Maggert, Tom Pernice Jr., Brett Wetterich, Vaughn Taylor, Lee Westwood, Greg Owen, Bo Van Pelt, J.B. Holmes, Jerry Kelly, Ted Purdy and Aaron Baddeley.
Because the qualifier was canceled, the R&A allowed the other players to transfer from the U.S. qualifier to the local qualifying rounds to be held July 10-11 at four links courses near Royal Liverpool in England. Players who were in the field at Congressional have until 7 p.m. Thursday to decide if they want to qualify in England.
It was a break for Wetterich and Taylor, who are in contention for a Ryder Cup berth but failed to qualify for the U.S. Open.
That wasn't the case for Brett Quigley. He holed a 45-foot birdie putt on his 18th hole of the Booz Allen to move into a three-way tie for sixth, but he wound up .03 points behind Baddeley in the world ranking for the 12th and final spot in the British Open.
Ditto for Steve Stricker, who has been playing his best golf in years. He tied for sixth in the U.S. Open and tied for second at the Booz Allen, but won't get a chance to qualify for the British Open without going to England.
'I wanted to play, even if it was 18 holes,' Stricker said on his way to the airport. 'I'm a little disappointed they weren't able to tee it up. But we've had so much rain here. There are still other ways I can get in.'
Billy Andrade and Stricker are atop a special money list that runs through the Western Open, which might be their best route to Royal Liverpool for the British Open, to be held July 20-23.
Quigley and Jeff Sluman were among those hurt by a number of withdrawals from the U.S. qualifier at Congressional. Because of the smaller field, the R&A reduced the spots available from 15 to 12.
In the European Tour qualifier completed Tuesday morning in England, Graeme McDowell was among four players who earned a spot in the British Open after an eight-man playoff. The others were Simon Dyson, Robert Rock and Richard Sterne.
Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam and Jesper Parnevik were among those who failed to advance.