Four places, two continents and 14 Australasian players desperate to earn their way into the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie next week.
While the immediate goal on the US PGA and European tours this week will be to vie for a win at the John Deere Classic and Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open respectively, the reward of a berth in The Open is also on offer for those who can end the week near the top of the leaderboard.
Eight Australians and Kiwis Michael Hendry and Ryan Fox have already secured their place in the field for the game’s oldest major championship and there are 14 others eager to join them.
The John Deere Classic provides one ticket to the British Open for the leading player not otherwise exempt who finishes in the top five while at the Scottish Open there are three spots up for grabs for the top three finishers not otherwise exempt who finish in the top 10 and ties.
A final round of 69 propelled Aaron Baddeley to a top-25 finish at the US Open at Shinnecock last month but he has missed both cuts since, making a return to TPC Deere Run for the first time since 2015 where he failed to qualify for the weekend.
After he was the only Aussie in the field to make the cut at last week’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier Cameron Percy will be out to build on the five consecutive cuts he has made on the PGA Tour.
Percy will also be able to draw on his excellent week at the John Deere Classic 12 months ago where he had four sub-70 rounds to finish in a tie for 12th.
Matt Jones is already exempt into The Open courtesy of his runner-up finish at the Australian Open last November with Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Steven Bowditch, Danny Lee and John Senden the other Australasian players in the field this week.
Ryan Fox’s runner-up finish at last week’s Irish Open came with the added bonus of an Open ticket and there are seven Australians hoping to emulate his feat at the Scottish Open to be played at Gullane Golf Club.
Andrew Dodt used a top-five finish at last year’s Scottish Open to play his way into the field for The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale with Wade Ormsby, Sam Brazel, Scott Hend, Jason Norris, Jason Scrivener and Adam Bland needing something similar this week to tee it up at Carnoustie next week.
Along with Fox, Cameron Smith and Brett Rumford have already booked their place at Carnoustie and can use the rugged links of Gullane to sharpen the skills required to be competitive in The Open Championship.
Sixteen of the top 50 players in the world are playing in the Scottish Open this week including 2015 victor at Gullane, Rickie Fowler and fellow former Scottish Open champion Phil Mickelson.
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