Fowler qualifies for 12th British Open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fowler qualifies for 12th British Open

By John Coomber 05/02/2008 07:33:58 PM Comments (0)

Tour veteran Peter Fowler produced a dramatic last-hole birdie to qualify for his 12th British Open.

The 48-year-old needed to birdie the demanding 190-metre par three 18th at The Lakes in Sydney to grab one of the four spots on offer at the 36-hole international qualifying tournament.

Melbourne's Andrew Tampion, who at 23 is less than half Fowler's age, produced rounds of 67-71, eight-under par in blustery, damp conditions to lead the qualifiers.

But Fowler, a former Australian Open champion, stole the show when he powered a four-iron to within five metres of the flag at the last.

His birdie putt hung on the lip for a second or so before falling into the cup.

It gave him rounds of 71-70, five under par and equal second with Bradley Lamb (71-70) and Ewan Porter (72-69).

"I knew I needed a birdie," Fowler said.

"I knew without it I wouldn't have been any good.

"I hit a stinging four-iron to exactly the right part of the green and the putt was all or nothing."

Fowler will now return to Royal Birkdale, where he made his first British Open appearance 25 years ago.

"I've played a couple of tournaments there but I haven't been there in nearly 20 years so it will be good to get back.

"I love playing in the Open. It's THE tournament. It's the biggest golf tournament in the world and if you're not in it, it's really sad.

"Because I've been there and know what it's like, I want to be part of it."

Fowler's best finish was 22nd in 2003 and he believes he is playing well enough to figure again this year.

"I feel like I'm playing better and better," he said.

Porter and Fowler both repeated their qualifying efforts at this course last year, while Tampion and Lamb will be playing in their first major tournament.

Among those to miss out were rising Australian talent Won Joon Lee, who finished tied second in the Australian Open six weeks ago but missed by four shots, and 16-year Japanese prodigy Ryo Ishikawa, who was pursued by a battalion of Japanese journalists and camera crews but missed qualifying by six shots.

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