Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee will make his first professional appearance in more than ten years after successfully qualifying for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex. The American, who made his last appearance on the PGA Tour in 2008, was one of 27 golfers who came through qualifying to book their place on the Old Course at St Andrews from July 26-29.
A record 591 qualifiers took part in the traditional Monday Qualifying at Fairmont St Andrews, Ladybank, Lundin Links and Scotscraig, with participants from all four corners of the globe descending on the county of Fife.
The 56 year old, who shared first place at Scotscraig Golf Club, said: “St Andrews means a lot to everybody in the golf world, but it holds a special place in my heart because I spent the summer of 1982 in Scotland. One of the highlights of my career was playing in The Open in 1995.
“So to bring my career in the game full circle, from the amateur game, to the PGA Tour, to the Senior Open, I couldn’t be happier to have made the field and to play amongst some of the best players to have every played the game.
“It’s a real treat for me to see a side of the game I haven’t known for 15 years.”
Joining Chamblee from Scotscraig were compatriot John Inman and English amateur Robert Maxfield – CEO of the Professional Golfers’ Association. Also earning their spots were Victor Casado, Vicente Fernandez, Darrell Kestner and amateur G.S. Lacy.
The first results of qualifying came from Ladybank as Fran Quinn finished first on three under par. He was joined automatically by Tommy Tolles and David Shacklady, who successfully earned his Staysure Tour card at Qualifying School earlier this year.
A five-way play-off was required for the final four spots, with Bob Ford, amateur Ryan Howison, Mark Ridley and former Walker Cup player Gary Wolstenholme securing their places on the first extra hole.
At Fairmont St Andrews, the closest Qualifying venue to the Old Course, Spain’s Andres Rosa was the only golfer to finish under par – one stroke ahead of David Mills and Henrik Simonsen who finished level par with rounds of 72.
An eight-man play-off decided the final four spots with Sweden’s Mats Dornell joined by fellow amateur Gene Elliott, Bill Breen and Pedro Linhart taking the spoils.
Six spots were available at Lundin Links, with Gary Koch – a colleague of Chamblee’s – and Jonathan Cheetham sharing first place on three under par. Angel Franco, amateur Michael McCoy and San Filippo qualified automatically on two under par.
A six-man play-off determined the final place on offer for this year’s Senior Open, and play was suspended on Monday evening due to darkness with three players still in the hunt. After play resumed at 8am on Tuesday morning, Australia’s Paul Archbold became the last man in after negotiating nine extra holes.
The successful qualifiers will join a host of golfing greats at St Andrews including Ryder Cup Captains Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam, and defending Senior Open champion Bernhard Langer.
Tickets starting at £15 can be purchased at st.golf/SeniorOpen18Tickets while under-16s and parking are free.
Fairmont St Andrews
Mats Dornell (AM)
Gene Elliott (AM)
Ryan Howison (AM)
Mike San Filippo
Michael McCoy (AM)
Robert Maxfield (AM)
G.S. Lacy (AM)
The Senior Open Presented by Rolex
European Tour www.europeantour.com