After receiving substantial support on his way to a dream outcome in Final Qualifying, Matthew Jordan will be among the hottest tickets in town at The 151st Open.
Jordan, a Royal Liverpool member since the age of seven, sealed just his second-ever Open appearance – and first at his home course – with a delightful ten-under through 36 holes.
The jubilant Jordan's aggregate score was matched by South Africa's Kyle Barker and bettered only by Matt Wallace (-11), with Alex Fitzpatrick (-9) and amateur Tiger Christensen (-9) rounding off the qualifiers.
The 27-year-old, who was playing alongside two-time Open runner-up Sergio Garcia and European Tour winner Jamie Donaldson in a star-studded group which proved popular with spectators throughout, led at the halfway stage after a stunning first-round 65.
His second round began with a bogey after three-putting the first and when he picked out a fairway bunker with his drive at the second, it looked as though the nerves may have been kicking in.
But Jordan saved par and kicked on from there in front of a feverish crowd, carding 69 for the second 18 to seal a fairytale Open appearance at the venue he has long called home.
“It is brilliant," said Jordan, who progressed via Final Qualifying at St Annes Old Links last year.
“My dad is a member, my grandad has been a member and I know everyone there.
“It did matter more than the previous times I have tried to qualify. Even though it is still brilliant, this has that bit of sentimental value.
“Weirdly, every time I play this course it just suits me so when I saw it was announced I was really pleased. I have spent a lot of time on many courses around here.
“I have qualified but I do not want to let this experience go to waste now. I will obviously enjoy it and move on to Denmark [Made in HimmerLand] but the focus will be that I have an extra event and to be ready for that because I want to do well.
“There will be too many invites, they [friends and family] will all be expecting players’ lounge and passes and all sorts, so we will see who is nice to me.”
Fitzpatrick’s qualification, meanwhile, ensures he will be joining brother Matt in teeing up at Hoylake.
The Sheffield-born star delivered arguably the shot of the day on his way to one of two eagles on the par-5 fifth, chipping in from a bunker while on his knees.
“This day was about me,” he said. “It is great to experience that, my brother knows and understands that. He has been phenomenal. Every chance I have to be Alex, he wants that and tries for that to happen.
“I am very appreciative and lucky to have someone so high up in the world rankings and so good at golf a text message or phone call away.
“It is great for my family and we will have a lot of support, which will be super nice. I will try and play well and see where I can finish.”
Wallace completed the English trio qualifying from West Lancashire, securing his return to The Open after a two-year absence.
Following his first PGA Tour win earlier this year and an appearance at the latter stages of the PGA Championship, the 33-year-old is feeling back to his best.
“I wanted to win this. I have been playing decent in the States. I understood I was one clear and no-one could catch me on the tee and played my 18th nicely,” he said.
“This is a nice confidence boost because I was really consistent. It has been a good year and getting into The Open, I want to play well as I will need to in order to play in the Ryder Cup.
“This is the start. I need to play in The Open and those big events.”
Barker could not contain his delight after sealing his first major appearance on a successful day for South Africa – his compatriots Martin Rohwer, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace all qualifying from Royal Cinque Ports.
His 18-year-old caddy is proving something of a good luck charm after two runner-up finishes and two victories on their first four events together prior to Final Qualifying.
“My heart was sitting in my throat for the last nine holes,” said Barker.
“I haven’t played 36 holes in about 10 years, so it was really tough, but I’m extremely proud about how I hung in and kept the ball rolling.
“I normally like to look at scoreboards but I didn’t see any out there. I saw one on hole 16 on the last nine and I saw my name and I knew I had to make one birdie coming in to make it and I made one on 17.
“This is probably the best thing I’ve ever achieved in my life, I feel like I’m dreaming.”
Christensen was the last to book his ticket to Royal Liverpool and will carry the weight of one of the biggest names in golf in two weeks’ time.
Named Tiger in part due to his father’s love of the sporting icon, Christensen is ready to start writing his own legend in his first major.
“I do not want to sound cocky, but I was certain about qualifying this week because I played US Open qualifying and fell just short,” he said.
“I felt like it was not too far away, so I just played my game.
“Tiger is a big inspiration. To me, he is the greatest of all time. I think it is really special what he has done for the game and how he has changed the entire game and made it more popular. It is something you can really look up to.”