Dodt hap­pily swaps NY for Open at Birk­dale

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

An­drew Dodt’s wife is go­ing to have to pur­chase wool­lens and wa­ter-proof at­tire af­ter her 31-year old hus­band qual­i­fied for this week’s Bri­tish Open. Dodt, and de­spite a dis­ap­point­ing Scot­tish Open fi­nal round 73 for a share of fourth place on eight-un­der par, se­cured the third and last Royal Birk­dale place on of­fer at Dun­don­ald Links on Sun­day.

The strap­ping Queens­lan­der de­nied Londoner An­thony Wall, mar­ried to an Aus­tralian born for­mer air stew­ardess, by virtue of a higher world rank­ing. Dodt went into the event ranked No. 193 and Wall cur­rently 245th in the world. Rachel Dodt ar­rived from Syd­ney and into a rain and windswept Glasgow Air­port on Satur­day morn­ing but packed for a five-day hol­i­day in sum­mery New York, and a last hol­i­day trip over­seas Dodt re­vealed ahead of the cou­ple in­tend­ing to start a fam­ily.

She was among the first to greet Dodt when he left the Dun­don­ald scorer’s hut. “Rachel and I were meant to be off to New York to­mor­row morn­ing, but pretty happy to be go­ing to Birk­dale and my first Ma­jor,” he said. “So, I am over the moon. Over the moon. It’s been a big goal of mine sort of the back end of last year and this year to play my first ma­jor, and yeah, next week, bring it on.”

The re­sult is Dodt’s sixth top-0o in his 26 Tour events this year and, in some way, makes amends for last May’s dis­ap­point­ment in lead­ing go­ing into the fi­nal round of the BMW PGA Cham­pi­onship but only to fin­ish in a share of sixth on the famed “Burma Road” course.

And en­cour­ag­ing Dodt over the last few holes on the fi­nal day at Dun­don­ald was 1995 Scot­tish Open win­ner, Wayne Riley, who was work­ing as a course com­men­ta­tor for SKY Sports. “I found my­self par­tic­u­larly on the back nine, just a lit­tle bit men­tally fa­tigued,” said Dodt.

“I felt like I used a lot of en­ergy early on in the round and re­ally had to take things a bit slower and take one step at a time a bit more, be­cause I knew The Open spot was right in line and had to sort of dig as deep as I could down the stretch.

“I kind of knew I had to hole that. Up the fair­way, said birdie would be nice but par should be good. “So, it’s great news that I’ve fi­nally done it, play my first ma­jor”. And Dodt’s ef­fort comes just a month af­ter good friend and Ade­laide born Wade Ormsby con­tested his first Ma­jor in qual­i­fy­ing for the US Open.

Dodt will now join a big con­tin­gent of 11 Aus­tralians to com­pete at Royal Birk­dale and on the 26th an­niver­sary Ian Bak­erFinch and Mike Har­wood fin­ished one and two in the 1991 Open. —AFP

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