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The Open Qualifying Series

Final Qualifying


Rose writes latest chapter in Open 'love story'

Domininc Clemons, Abraham Ancer, Charlie Lindh and Justin Rose qualified at Burnham & Berrow

Justin Rose describes his relationship with The Open as ‘a love story’ and the latest chapter was written at Burnham & Berrow as he successfully came through Final Qualifying.

The 43-year-old, who won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur having finished in a share of fourth at Royal Birkdale in 1998, was the headline act in the Westcountry and saw his trio followed by hordes of spectators throughout the day.

Rose coped with the expectation. He caught fire after the turn in his opening round, reeling off four consecutive birdies on his way to a five-under-par 66, and recovered from a double-bogey at 12 second time round to card a 68.

That was enough to take the 2013 US Open winner to -8 for the day and a place in The 152nd Open at Royal Troon.

Justin Rose FQ Burnham & Berrow

“I had huge motivation,” he said. “The Open has been a bit of a fairytale and a love story for me ever since I was 14 and got to Final Qualifying at Scotscraig.

“I had the amazing Royal Birkdale Silver Medal moment and The Open has always been super special.

“You can kind of take it for granted, you have nice spells in your career when you’re exempt for however many years but as you get older, it gets a little harder.

“It makes you appreciate how special The Open is – and it’s nice to come back to Burnham & Berrow, which is a special place to me.”

Rose’s first taste of the Somerset course came when he won the Carris Trophy in 1995 – the same year he featured in the aforementioned Final Qualifying at Scotscraig.

“I played the home internationals in ’97 too, so it’s my first time back since then,” he added.

"I tried to have the feelgood factor, and tell myself I’ve had great experiences here.

“I was trying to be here today full of gratitude. It was an opportunity to walk down memory lane.”

Rose was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Dominic Clemons, who continued his fine form in 2024.

Clemons won the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Muirfield by 17 shots after a 62 in his final round before finishing as runner-up at The Amateur Championship a fortnight ago after losing the Final.

Dominic Clemons Burnham

Victory there would have secured him a spot at Royal Troon and he had to work hard to banish those memories – which he did successfully with rounds of 66 and 68.

“It was much harder than I thought losing the Final but that’s golf, I’ve just tried to bounce back,” he said.

“My mindset wasn’t particularly good. It was weird, it was reminding me of the Final I lost.

“In the practice round, I was saying if I’d just played better in that final, I wouldn’t even be here. I would have made it a lot easier for myself. But I played well and it was good fun.

“I didn’t know the scores until the 16th. I had a little look at the scoreboard but it’s out of my control. I just tried to do my own thing.”

“The final two spots were settled by a dramatic play-off, which began in fading light as the clock ticked towards 9pm.

Abraham Ancer, who was playing in Clemons’ group, had set the morning pace with a six-under 65 and was well set in his second round until a triple-bogey at the par-3 14th sent him back into the pack.

Abraham Ancer Burnham & Berrow

He recovered with a birdie at 15 but faced an anxious wait to see if his overall score of -5 would be enough.

Anirban Lahiri was already in the clubhouse with the same score to his name and Charlie Lindh soon completed the trio on five-under, a bogey at 17 seeing his day extended.

The play-off lasted just a single hole as Lahiri paid for going right off the 1st tee. His approach left him 20 yards short of the green, which Ancer and Lindh located, and he was unable to get up and down to save par.

Ancer’s par rarely looked in doubt while Lindh left himself a knee-knocker by overcooking his first putt, only to hold his nerve and punch his ticket to Ayrshire.

Charlie Lindh came through Final Qualifying at Burnham & Berrow

“I just love playing links golf,” Lindh said. “This is the way golf is supposed to be played. You have to hit every single shot, low, high, curve it into the wind, it’s just so nice.

“Before the play-off, I took a nap for an hour in the locker room with my brother (Samuel), who has been doing an amazing job on the bag. We had so much fun all day.

“I almost made it last year at Royal Cinque Ports – that was my first time playing links. I have been excited for this ever since.

“That experience definitely made me more determined coming here. I said to my manager ‘I’m going to play every single Open Qualifying unless I’m in it already.

“It’s the best and biggest competition in the world, so I’m super excited to play.”

Ancer, who has played at the last five Opens with a best finish of T11 at St Andrews in 2022, was relieved to book his spot after thinking he may have let it slip away down the stretch.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “It was a very long day but I’m extremely happy.

“I made it very tough for myself coming in on those last seven or eight holes.

“I stayed mentally very strong, I had a terrible hole which could have de-railed me but I bounced back with a birdie which was enough to make it to a play-off and played a good hole there.

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions down the back nine but I’m extremely happy to have made it.”

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