Open Championship: Brooks Koepka tops leaderboard at International Final Qualifying
Last Updated: 25/06/13 8:25am
Brooks Koepka: Booked his place in next month's Open Championship
American Brooks Koepka continued his fine run of form by qualifying for next month's Open Championship at Muirfield.
Koepka, whose third Challenge Tour win of the year on Sunday earned him instant "battlefield promotion" to the European Tour, sealed his place in the third major of the year by winning International Final Qualifying at Sunningdale.
The 23-year-old carded rounds of 69 and 65 over the Old and New courses respectively to finish five under par, one shot clear of England's Oliver Fisher, who returned scores of 70 and 65.
International Final Qualifying
France's Gregory Bourdy, England's Richard McEvoy, Spain's Alvaro Quiros and Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin finished on three under, with Sweden's Niclas Fasth and Scotland's Scott Jamieson also qualifying on two under.
That left Ross Fisher, David Drysdale, Alejandro Canizares and Estanislao Goya - who all finished one under - in a play-off to claim the ninth and final qualifying place, with Goya coming out on top at the second extra hole.
Among those to miss out were England's Tom Lewis, France's Thomas Levet and Ryder Cup captains past and present Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul McGinley.
A first round of 66 on the Old Course saw Lewis, a former winner of the silver medal as leading amateur at the Open, gain the clubhouse lead on four under par, but a second round of 75 saw him finish two over par.
Consecutive rounds of 70 saw Levet, who finished second when the Open visited Muirfield in 2002, miss out on the play-off by two shots, while Olazabal and McGinley were both three shots further back.
After his win in the Scottish Hydro Challenge, Koepka managed just two hours' sleep before catching a 6:30am flight from Scotland to London but showed no ill effects on Monday.
"I was in a lot of heather (rough) today and I kind of felt like I was in it all day. I didn't hit it that great but I just tried to relax and hang in there. I putted really well and made some key putts on the second 18.
"It's awesome to play in The Open, it's what you prepare your game to play in. Any Major is special but The Open is up there. Everybody wants to win it."
Fisher was relishing the prospect of playing in his second Open after appearing at Turnberry in 2009.
He said: "I haven't played at Muirfield before but I watched Ernie Els win in 2002 and Nick Faldo also won there. I can't wait to play there. I'm really pleased with my day's work."