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STRONG FIELD SET TO START OPEN QUEST AT IFQ AMERICA

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International Final Qualifying (IFQ) America returns to the Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas, on Monday (21 May) with 78 players hoping to earn one of eight places available at this year’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Among the 78-man field taking on the 6,871-yard, par-70 Queens Course at Gleneagles are many PGA Tour regulars including Harrison Frazar, George McNeill, Scott Piercy and Sean O’Hair who all have tour victories to their names in the past twelve months.

Americans Robert Garrigus, Ryan Moore, Jeff Overton and Ryan Palmer all currently sit well within the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), and will be hoping for a further taste of The Open having all featured last year at Royal St George’s.

Spencer Levin, Jerry Kelly, Bob Estes and Englishman Brian Davis will hope to replicate last year’s IFQ successes, where all manoeuvred a tricky field to earn their spots at Sandwich. Davis’ 6-under-par opening round topped the field at last year’s weather-shortened IFQ, and he is sure to be one of the top contenders this time round as he looks to make his ninth Open appearance.

More than half of this year’s field have previous Open Championship experience, while Rory Sabbatini, Stuart Appleby, Chris Di Marco and Greg Owen will have fond memories of Royal Lytham having all made the cut back in 2001. Englishman Owen especially, who made an Albatross two at the Par 5 11th on his way to finishing in the top 25.

On-form tour stars Jhonattan Vegas, Charlie Wi, John Rollins, Kevin Stadler and David Mathis will also be ones to watch as they come off the back of strong top 25 finishes at last week’s PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Other high-profile contenders hoping to progress to Royal Lytham include past Ryder Cup players JB Holmes and Henrik Stenson, Colombia’s Camillo Villegas and American Walker Cup representative Harris English who has already made several impressive finishes in his rookie season on tour.

Gleneagles Country Club, a venue chosen to tie into the PGA Tour’s Texas swing, lies just 20 miles from the TPC Four Seasons Resort, where the HP Byron Nelson Championship is being played this week.

Play will get underway at around 7.00am local time from two tees. Competitors will play 36 holes strokeplay format with eight places awaiting the leading players at The Open Championship in July.

Scores, reports and images will be found at TheOpen.com website while live updates can be followed @The_Open on Twitter.

 

 

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