Date: February 05, 2008

Aussies book Open berth

Australians Andrew Tampion, Brad Lamb, Ewan Porter and Peter Fowler have qualified for this year&aposs British Open. The quartet filled the top four positions at International Final Qualifying at The Lakes in Sydney on Tuesday. Tampion, from the Kingswood Golf Club in Victoria, finished atop the leaderboard on eight-under following rounds of 67 and 71 to be three strokes clear of Lamb, Porter and Fowler. While it was the first time Tampion, who failed at previous attempts at Sunningdale (2007) and Kingston Heath (2006), has qualified for the event, it was the second time for Fowler and Porter, who succeeded last year as well. A stunned Tampion could not believe he had fulfilled &aposevery Aussie kid&aposs dream&apos. “I played some great holes today and I think the six-under first round really got me off to a good start. I just wanted to go out and do the same thing in the afternoon and I set myself a target of 10-under,” he said. “I didn&apost quite get there but eight-under was good enough.” Porter, 25, had to do it the tough way. After finishing an hour ahead of a group of players striving to overtake him, Porter could do nothing but play the waiting game from the clubhouse. “I was pretty tense waiting today”, said Porter. “I don&apost want to sound arrogant but I really didn&apost play very well and especially compared to last year where I just cruised through, it was much tougher and more of a grind this year.” Fowler, 48, booked his 12th Open berth with a birdie on the last hole. “I thought I&aposd messed it up on the back nine. I was struggling a bit, it&aposs a long day,” he said. “I was just determined to hit that last shot and birdie. It was all or nothing. It just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it.” Meanwhile, The Open will be Lamb&aposs first major. He had failed in three previous attempts to qualify for the only major played outside the US. “It&aposs quite a bizarre feeling actually, but I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “It&aposs just such a great opportunity for us here because really with a field of 55 and four spots available, the odds are pretty good.”