Monty misses out
Morrison, Walker, Donaldson all qualify for Open
Last Updated: June 25, 2012 10:41pm
Colin Montgomerie: Missed out on one of the 10 Open spots available at Lytham
Birmingham's Sam Walker will make his debut at the Open Championship after coming through qualifying at Sunningdale on Monday.
However, Ryder Cup captains past and present, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal, narrowly missed out on one of the 10 spots on offer.
Montgomerie finished one shot off a play-off in adding a 70 to his earlier three-under-par 66, while Olazabal fell back to one-under with an afternoon of 71.
Walker, who made his first try to qualify 14 years ago when he was 20, finished second to compatriot James Morrison in the 96-strong field over 36 holes.
"It's been a massive 24 hours for me - I should rush around more often," said the Birmingham golfer, who won a Challenge Tour in Scotland, flew back home and then set off at 5am in order to make his tee-off time.
"I'm tired, but it feels amazing and it's going to be fantastic to play. It'll be one of the best things in my life."
Morrison, another who will be making his Open debut, finished eight under after rounds of 63 and 68.
He was up even earlier for a 6.48am start - and that after a disturbed night thanks to his 12-day-old son Finley.
"I was fighting a few demons the last few holes," he said, remembering he had finished bogey-bogey to miss out by one last year.
Sparkling though Morrison's first round was, it was bettered by one in the afternoon by Welshman Jamie Donaldson as he made it through with only a single shot to spare.
That 62 equalled the course record which Montgomerie himself matched two years ago.
For Donaldson it will be a second Open, while England's Matthew Baldwin will play his first a month after qualifying for a US Open debut.
He too finished five under, as did compatriots Ross Fisher and Richard Finch, Spain's Alejandro Canizares and Australian Marcus Fraser.
Five players - English pair Lee Slattery and Oliver Fisher, Scot Alastair Forsyth, Swede Oscar Floren and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen - were involved in the play-off for the last two places on offer.
Fisher and Floren exited with bogeys at the first extra hole, Olesen qualified with a birdie at the next and then Forsyth missed a three-foot par putt on the third which put Slattery through to his second Open.
Danny Willett, who beat Fraser in a four-hole play-off for the BMW International Open in Cologne on Sunday, missed out by four shots.
Willett could still qualify through a mini money list which ends this week at the Irish Open. He is just over £100 behind South African Richard Sterne, who missed out himself by one stroke.
Others to fail included Tom Lewis, who led after the opening day at Sandwich last July and with his 65 achieved the lowest round ever by an amateur in the Open, Italian teenager Matteo Manassero and Swede Niclas Fasth, runner-up to David Duval on Lytham's last staging of the championship in 2001.