Date: March 26, 2008

Aussies chase Open dream

A string of Australians remain well in the hunt to secure a berth at this year&aposs British Open after making a strong start in the first round of International Final Qualifying in Singapore. Gavin Flint, Jason King and Brad Kennedy all fired matching one-under par 71s to end the day in equal seventh position at the two-day qualifier. The trio is two shots behind leaders Danny Chia from Malaysia, Angelo Que of the Phillipines and Englishman Yasin Ali in their bid to secure one of the four tickets on offer to The Open at Royal Birkdale in July. Scott Barr carded an even-par round of 72 while David Bransdon and Adam Blyth also remain in contention one shot further back at one-over par. Ali was well-placed to secure the outright overnight lead after arriving at the 18th tee five-under par but a wayward drive found the water and led to a double bogey. The treacherous Serapong course upheld its reputation as one of the toughest courses in Asia yielding only 15 under-par rounds on Wednesday. Four players including Antonio Lascuna of the Phillipines, Malaysia&aposs Ben Leong and Japanase pair Tomohiro Kondo and Keiichiro Fukabori lead the chasing pack one shot behind the leaders at two-under. Australians Adam Groom, Richard Moir, David Gleeson and Tony Carolan all have work to do after shooting three-over par rounds of 75 while Marcus Both finished with a five-over par 77.