More than 1300 golfers take part in Regional Qualifying for The Open
Three days after going out in the quarter-finals of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie Scotland's Greig Marchbank has re-ignited his hopes of playing in next month's Open Championship.
The 20-year-old international from Thornhill scored a four-under-par 68 at Northumberland - one of 13 Regional Qualifying venues - to be among those who made it through to next Tuesday's 36-hole Final Qualifying.
Marchbank was two wins away from the Amateur title and a place at St Andrews when he stood two up with two to play on fellow Scot Grant Forrest, but he lost the 17th, missed a four-foot putt on the final green and exited at the second extra hole.
Five spots were on offer at Northumberland and Marchbank finished three strokes clear of fellow amateur William Bowe, who six years ago helped Workington to the English champion club title.
There will be 72 competitors at each of the four Final Qualifying courses - Gailes Links, Hillside, Royal Cinque Ports and Woburn - with 12 of the 288 earning places in the starting line-up at the Home of Golf on July 16-19.
Last year factory worker John Singleton played at Royal Liverpool after surviving both stages and he tweeted a "Good Luck" message to the players - more than 1,300 of them - who set off with the same dream.
At Bruntsfield Links, former PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn produced a four-under-par 67 to finish just one shot behind amateur winner Matt Clark.
Oldcorn, joint halfway leader in the 1991 Open at Royal Birkdale, topped the same qualifier two years ago and after a bogey at the last said: "I wanted to win again, but that's still not a bad effort from a 55-year-old against all these young boys."
Clark, 33 and part of Scotland's three-man side in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey, eagled the third in reaching seven-under-par, but double-bogeyed the 17th.
Seven places were up for grabs and Oldcorn, the last man to finish, claimed the last one, knocking out 12 players on 70. He shared second place with Drumoig amateur Connor Syme, who hit all 18 greens in regulation in what was his first attempt to qualify.
Clontarf professional Eamonn Brady won the Irish qualifier at The Island. His two-under-par 69 was three better than amateur Alex Gleeson as four players progressed.
Ian Poulter will not be joined by his older brother Danny at the Home of Golf. He managed only a seven-over-par 77 at Sandy Lodge near Watford, while James Conteh, son of former world boxing champion John, scored a 75 and bowed out as well.
The leading scores at Sandy Lodge were the 68's of host club professional Crue Elliot and Moor Park's Matt Wallace, with Rory McIlroy's 2007 Walker Cup teammate Jamie Moul only one behind. While at Buckinghamshire,David Clarkson and Jamie Little shared top spot on 67, five-under-par.
Knebworth's Jamie Rutherford was out on his own on the same score at Hankley Common and in the Little Aston qualifier 2004 PGA champion Scott Drummond was joint first with Evesham amateur Oliver Farrell. Both of them had two-under-par rounds of 70.
Ian Walley of Kedleston Park won by two at Luffenham Heath with a two-under-par 68. While at Mere it was Swede Jonas Carlson (69) out in front and at Moortown their own Nick McCarthy took the honours with a 69.
The four-under-par 68s of Oliver Baker and Robert Gowers were not bettered at Remedy Oak, a one-over-par 73 was good enough to put Formby amateur Paul Kinnear first at West Lancashire and at Wildernesse in Kent it was Richard Tinworth topped the leaderboard with a three-under-par 69.