Monty qualifies for British Open

LONDON: Britain's Colin Montgomerie booked his place at next month's British Open after surviving a 12-man playoff for the final six spots in the European leg of international qualifying on Monday. 

The seven-times European number one came through at the second extra hole, joining 16 others from a field of 120 at Sunningdale Golf Club with automatic berths in the third of the year's four majors. 

Also qualifying with Montgomerie were Irish Ryder Cup player Paul McGinley, Argentina's Eduardo Romero, Swedes Marten Olander and Peter Hedblom, Dutchman Maarten Lafeber, Christian Cavaer of France and Britons Warren Bennett, Paul Broadhurst and Kenneth Ferrie. 

However, Swedish Ryder Cup player Jesper Parnevik missed out by one shot, after carding rounds of 70 and 68, along with Englishman Justin Rose, who slipped to a 73 after firing a superb six-under 65 at Sunningdale's New Course in the morning. 

Also failing to qualify were European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer, after scores of 75 and 70, and former U.S. Masters champions Jose Maria Olazabal (68, 71) and Ian Woosnam (71, 69). 

“It's been a very tough day. I suppose I've got in through the back door,” a relieved Montgomerie told reporters after rounds of 68 and 69 had left him at six-under 137 in regulation play. 

“This is the first decent thing that's happened to me for a long time,” added the 41-year-old Scot, who is in the throes of a divorce following the break-up of his marriage two months ago. 

“We're back at Royal Troon where I know every blade of grass and I expect I will get a lot of support up there. At the moment I am very happy.” – Reuters  

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