Open dream still on
An eagle three on the last earned Chart Hills youngster Mark Collins a place in Final Qualifying for The Open for the fourth successive year, at Wildernesse Golf Club in Sevenoaks on Monday.
The 21-year-old former Kent amateur title winner finished tied third on one-under-par 71 with Daniel Garner (Romford) and Luke Bangerter (Redhill Golf Centre) in the regional stage.
He will now be among 72 starters at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal next Tuesday.
Three players competing in Final Qualifying will book their place at Royal Troon (July 14-17).
Sweden’s Adam Osth and another amateur, Chris Cotton, from Sedlescombe near Hastings, finished joint-winners with twounder-par 70s.
Collins’ outward 39 included three birdies, he bogeyed the 10th, before three successive birdies, and four pars left him one over going to the par five 18th, his impressive finish seeing him home in 32.
Collins was watched by his father, Peter, who said of the eagle finish: “I think it was one of the best holes he has ever played.”
“He was one of the early starters, and was on the fifth when play was suspended due to a waterlogged course, following heavy rain before resuming at 2.30pm.”
Collins will be among those teeing up at Royal Cinque Ports on Tuesday when Luke Spooner (Sundridge Park) and Jay Taylor (Pinheiros Altos Golf Resort, Portugal) clinched the final two spots following a seven-man playoff held over to Tuesday.
Collins’ clubmate, reigning Kent champion Dan Brown, missed out with a three-over 75, with the third Chart Hills representative Daniel Bennett finishing seven-over on 79, along with Ashford head pro Tom Muchmore.
Jamie Guppy, of Littlestone, carded a nine-over 81, while Ashford pro Liam Harper was 13over on 86.
Collins and Brown are among the line-up in the Brabazon Trophy which started at the London Golf Club yesterday (Wednesday). England international Alfie Plant from Sundridge Park, and Freddie Price from Royal Blackheath complete the Kent quartet.
Past winners include Scotland’s Sandy Lyle and South African Charl Schwartzel.
From left, Gary Kerry, Gary Fagg (president), Gill Nunn and men’s captain Mark Purkiss