Sunday, January 9, 2011

Open spots on offer for Aussies at IFQ

Australia’s top golfers will be bringing their A-game to Kingston Heath Golf Club tomorrow with arguably the most sought after prize in world golf up for grabs- a spot in the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

A total of three spots in The Open field will be available on Tuesday when International Final Qualifying (IFQ) Australasia is contested over 36 holes.

The top three finishers will earn a place at the 2011 Open Championship to be played at Royal St George’s, which this year will host its 14th Open Championship.

The Open was last contested at Royal St George’s in 2003 when American Ben Curtis won by a stroke over Vijay Singh in what was his first ever Major appearance.

This year some of Australia’s best will again be vying for their chance to tee it up in The Open with Peter Senior and Peter O’Malley among those looking to qualify.

“The IFQ for the Open Championship in Australia is a great opportunity for all Australian players to play in what i believe is the best tournament in the world,” said Peter Senior who gained a spot in the 2010 Open Championship after qualifying at IFQ Australasia.

“Last year was great to have it at St Andrews where it is always exciting and full of atmosphere, but this year the players are in for a real treat as we head back to Royal St George’s which I'm sure will throw up its own unique challenges to all of the players lucky enough to get through the qualifying.”

“Of all The Open courses Royal St George’s is probably the most demanding off the tee and high rough awaits anything that is off line.”

O’Malley shares Senior’s sentiments.

“The Open is the best tournament in the golfing calendar. It is the one tournament I want to play every year. I would look forward to playing at Royal St George’s if I was to qualify,” O’Malley said.

“Royal St George’s is a great test of golf, very demanding off the tee which suits my style of golf.”

Also in the field will be yesterday's Victorian Open winner Paul Sheehan, Craig Parry, Matthew Griffin, Stephen Allan, Peter Fowler, Andre Stolz, Stephen Leaney, James Nitties and Alistair Presnell.

Young hopefuls Kieran Pratt and Rohan Blizard will also be teeing it up hoping to earn their first starts in a Major tournament.

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