Senior makes 18th Open

Australians Kurt Barnes, Ewan Porter and Peter Senior have all qualified for July’s Open Championship at St Andrews.

Australians Kurt Barnes, Ewan Porter and Peter Senior all qualified for July’s Open at St Andrews after topping the leaderboard in the final round of the 36-hole, Australian leg of the Final International Qualifier at Kingston Heath on Thursday.
Barnes blazed an eight-under-par 64 to finish at 10 under to secure his first appearance at a major with overnight leader Porter two back after a 68 and Senior third at five under after a two under 70.
Senior claimed his 18th appearance at The Open and first since 2000 at St Andrews despite facing a nervous wait after bogeying the final hole but Aaron Townsend and Steve Jones failed to close the gap as the duo finished at three under par to miss out.
“It feels fantastic. I thought I had blown it coming down the last couple of holes but the score hung on and I am really excited about going there,” said Senior.
“St Andrews is such a special place, the atmosphere is just fantastic and I am really going to enjoy this one.”
Barnes began the day tied for fourth two shots off the pace but tore up the front nine in 31 with four birdies before picking up a further four shots on the trip home.
“Today was pretty solid. Only the one bogey, but I am really happy,” said Barnes.
“I reckon today is one of the best ball striking displays ever, I hit it well, I pitched it well and I also putted well so my all round game was really good. It’s one of the best rounds of golf I have ever played.”
Barnes ended a four year winless streak with a one stroke victory at April’s Sofitel Zhongshan IGC Open on the Omega China Tour.
Porter, meanwhile, has secured his third appearance at The Open after qualifying in 2007 and 2008 although he has yet to make the cut.
“I’m just over the moon. I said to my caddy Grant on the last whole that this feels better than the previous two attempts, just the fact that it’s St Andrews this time,” he said.
“I guess I have been through so many tough times over the last couple of years but the belief and the hard work I have been doing is bearing fruit right now and I hope that this is just the kickstart to a big 2010 for me.”