Date: July 02, 2008

Elk misses Open start

Australian Steve Elkington will not be at this year&aposs British Open after bogeying the final two holes in qualifying in Michigan. Elkington, who fired an opening round of 65, all but had his ticket booked for Royal Birkdale entering the final two holes of qualification but bogeys on 17 and 18 cost him dearly. It saw him card a 75 and finish on four-under. Had he parred the final two holes he would have automatically qualified, while a par at the last would have seen him enter a six-man playoff for the seventh and final berth on offer at Michigan. It was taken by American Tom Gillis. Jeff Overton was the star of the show, winning by six after rounds of 63 and 67. Other players to qualify were Americans John Rollins, Tom Petrovic, Matt Kuchar and Scott McCarron, and German Alex Cejka, while Australians Scott Hend, David McKenzie, John Senden, Stephen Leaney and Mark Hensby failed to progress. Davis Love will be at the Open Championship for a 22nd consecutive time after surviving a playoff at the 36-hole American qualifier at Dearborn. That event saw five players on nine-under-par going into extra holes for four places at Royal Birkdale. “They&aposve only got four majors and it&aposs important to get in them,” said Love. “It&aposs the oldest tournament in the world, so I&aposm excited.” Kevin Stadler, son of former Masters champion Craig, also progressed from the playoff. Paul Goydos, the American beaten by Sergio Garcia in a playoff for the Players Championship in Florida eight weeks ago, won the event on 13-under after rounds of 65 and 66. The 44-year-old has never played The Open. “It&aposs disappointing not to have played in it thus far. Probably other than winning, this is my number one goal this year,” he said. “I want to play in the British Open. That&aposs where history is.” Americans Michael Letzig, Doug Labelle II progressed, while Rich Been and Craig Barlow survived the playoff. Malaysian Iain Steel was the unlucky member of the quintet to bow out. Australians Brett Rumford, Matt Jones, Peter Lonard, Mathew Goggin and Kane Webber failed to qualify at Dearborn and will miss the Open Championship.