Date: January 30, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Jefress qualifies for The Open

New Zealand&aposs Mark Brown has eclipsed the course record at Kingston Heath Golf Club as he booked a place in the 2013 Open Championship via the Australasian International Final Qualifying. Brown shot a 10-under 62, shading the previous course record of nine-under 63 set by amateur Cruze Strange, to earn a ticket to Muirfield in July, along with Australians Steven Jeffress (nine under) and Stephen Dartnall (eight under). Starting five shots off the pace this morning after an even-par first round of 72, Brown&aposs extraordinary round earned him what will be his second appearance at the Open. He missed the cut at Turnberry in 2009. “Yesterday I was a fair way back, so today I wasn&apost really thinking about it too much – I just went out and tried to enjoy it,” Brown said. “I made six birdies in the first nine, then it got serious and it wasn&apost so much fun anymore. “I&aposve got so much respect for the place; it&aposs quite a thrill to hold the course record.” Jeffress, 37, will tee off at his first major championship after a composed round got him over the line. “It&aposs pretty impressive – it probably hasn&apost even sunk in yet, it&aposs going to be great, it&aposs going to be unbelievable,” Jeffress said. “I had a number that I wanted to get to; 10 under. I thought if I get to that then it&aposs going to be competitive. “I had two under around the front nine and then I parred through to 15 which I was pretty frustrated at. “I said to my caddy that we have to do something here because only the top three gets in and then I birdied 15 and 16.” The other Australian to progress to his first major, Dartnall, recovered from an indifferent start to do enough to get through. “I started off a bit scratchy actually – I was one over after six then made a few birdies and just played solid from there on in. It wasn&apost quite as good as yesterday but it was enough, I guess,” Dartnall said. “I have never played a major before so will be a good learning experience, to go there and obviously try and play well.” The 142nd Open Championship will be played at Muirfield from the 14-21 July.