Jensen secures place with world’s leading golfers at The 145th Open
Denmark’s Lasse Jensen will join the world’s leading players at The 145th Open at Royal Troon after qualifying at the Nordea Masters in Sweden today.
The Nordea Masters, played at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club near Stockholm, is the fifth event in The Open Qualifying Series and a place in golf’s oldest Championship was available to the leading player, not already exempt, in the top five and ties.
Jensen produced a memorable final round surge to secure his Major Championship debut on the Ayrshire coast from July 14-17. After dropping a shot at the 2nd hole, the 31-year-old from Copenhagen sprang to life at the 6th where he holed his seven iron approach from 152 yards for an eagle.
Another eagle followed at the par five 13th and a birdie at the 15th meant that Jensen, whose best finish so far this season was a tie for 11th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa in November, carded a 4-under-par 68 to finish on 13-under-par for the championship, three shots behind the winner Matthew Fitzpatrick, who is already exempt for THE OPEN.
“It’s a huge thing because it will be my first major so for me to be in THE OPEN is pretty awesome,” said Jensen.
“I have always wanted to play in THE OPEN because it has so much history and tradition that has built up around it. I’m over the moon about the thought of it.
“When I came down the 18th I could see that I had a chance of it and I grabbed it and it feels great. As a little kid you watch THE OPEN and it’s the best players in the world – that’s why I play golf, that’s why we’re here to compete with the best players.”
Two-time European Tour winner Nicolas Colsaerts spent much of the day in second place as he chased Fitzpatrick, and an eagle at the 9th gave him momentum, but the Belgian’s challenge faded on the par three 17th, where his tee shot found the water and he took a double bogey. A birdie at the last left him on 12-under-par.
Swedes Henrik Stenson, who is already in the field for Royal Troon, and Bjorn Hellgren, finished in a tie for fourth on 10-under-par.
Round 3 Wrap
Noren leads the way in race to qualify for THE 145TH OPEN after third round of the Nordea Masters
Alex Noren holds the qualifying place in THE 145TH OPEN at Royal Troon going into tomorrow’s final round of the Nordea Masters.
Noren, the defending champion, recovered from two dropped shots after the turn with four consecutive birdies from the 12th hole to come in with a 5-under-par 67 and move to 10-under-par for the championship, five shots behind Matthew Fitzpatrick, who is already exempt for THE OPEN.
The 33-year-old, who hails from Stockholm, is on the same mark as long-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts but holds the qualifying place thanks to his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
“I played really well for those four holes, my putter was hot and I was hitting it pretty close anyway,” said Noren. “I couldn’t keep the momentum going for the last three, but those holes were playing quite tough today so I’m not too disappointed.
“I rode my luck at times today and got away with a few bad shots but other than that I played really well, so I’m pretty happy.”
If he qualifies tomorrow, Noren will make his fifth appearance in THE OPEN, with his best finish coming at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012 where he finished in a tie for ninth.
Round 2 Wrap
Johnston in the hunt for qualifying place at THE OPEN after second round of the Nordea Masters
Andrew Johnston held on to the qualifying place in The 145TH OPEN at Royal Troon after the second round of the Nordea Masters today.
Johnston fought back from a triple bogey seven at the 10th and a bogey at the 13th with birdies in three of the last four holes to card a 3-under-par 69 and move to 8-under-par for the championship, three behind the leader Matthew Fitzpatrick, who is exempt for THE OPEN.
The 27-year-old Londoner finished on the same mark as fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, who is also already in the field for THE OPEN, Sweden's Alexander Björk and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who produced an excellent 6-under-par 66 earlier in the day. Johnston holds the qualifying place thanks to his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
Colsaerts eagled the par five 1st hole, his ninth of the day, and bounced back from a dropped shot at the 8th to close with a birdie on the 9th to move to 8-under-par.
The 33-year-old Belgian made his first appearance in The Open at Royal Troon in 2004, where he missed the cut, and achieved a top ten finish in the Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012. “The Open is The Open. Any time you get the chance to play in The Open it’s a week you are going to look forward to,” he said.
“Troon is not really my best memory. It was my first one and I remember I played really badly so it would be a good thing for me to go back and do a bit better this time.
“I certainly like links golf but there is a long way to go. There are going to be a lot of guys knocking on that door and hoping that they will land that spot.”
Round 1 Wrap
Johnston holds qualifying place for The Open after first round of the Nordea Masters
Andrew Johnston holds the qualifying place for The 145TH OPEN at Royal Troon after today's first round of the Nordea Masters in Sweden.
Johnston was among a clutch of players who finished tied for the lead on five-under-par after the first round at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club near Stockholm. Frenchmen Clément Berardo and Sébastien Gros were joined by Scotsmen Scott Henry and Marc Warren, who is already exempt for THE OPEN, and Germany’s Florian Fritsch. Johnston holds the qualifying place by virtue of his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
Fresh from qualifying for the US Open at the Walton Heath qualifying event earlier this week, Johnston set out his stall for securing a place in THE OPEN with an opening round of 67 that featured five birdies and no dropped shots.
The 27-year-old Londoner played in THE OPEN at Royal St George’s in 2011 and has shown fine form this season, winning his first European Tour event at the Real Club Valderrama Open de Espana in April.
Henry, a former Scottish Amateur Stroke Play Champion, eagled the par five 13th and conjured up a wonderful escape from a parking area to the left of the 18th fairway to secure a par at the last. The 29-year-old currently plays on the European Challenge Tour and would relish the opportunity to make his Major Championship debut on home turf.
“Playing in THE OPEN would just be incredible,” said Henry. “I only live about 40 minutes away from Troon in the west end of Glasgow. I have actually never ever played Royal Troon in my life so hopefully that will be the first time but there is obviously a long way to go.”