By Tim Liotta
Sergio Fails in Open Qualifier bid
Sergio Garcia, unable to sustain his bid late, failed by three shots to earn one of the 19 spots available in the Final Qualifying stage for the 151st Open Championship, golf's final major championship of 2023.
The PGA Tour's Matt Wallace and Thomas Detry, and Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel of LIV Golf were among those earning berths into the field of 156 set to play in the Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in two weeks.
Final Qualifying for the Open Championship was contested in 36-hole events with fields of 72 Tuesday at four venues across England - West Lancashire, Royal Porthcawl, Royal Cinque Ports, each with 5 spots available, and Dundonald Links, which had the final 4.
The number of spots at each venue were determined by the strength of the field based on Official World Golf Rankings.
After an opening 5-under 67, the third-best round of the morning at West Lankashire, Garcia reached 8-under with a birdie on the sixth hole of his afternoon round, but was able to make one more birdie from there, playing the final 12 holes in two-over-par.
"I felt like I had it early on, I was rolling nicely," said Garcia in an SI.COM/GOLF report. "Got a pretty bad break on seven in the afternoon, and kind of stole my momentum a little bit and then it was tough to get going again."
Michael Block, the PGA Championship sensation, also failed to earn a spot in the Open Championship, struggling through rounds of 77-66 for a 153 total that was 12 shots from qualifying at Dundonald Links.
Also failing to qualify was Aaron Rai, who finished T9 in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on Sunday. Rai shot 74-71 for a one-over 145 at Dundonald Links four shots shy of qualifying.
David Puig of Spain failed in his double-double attempt to local qualify, posting scores of 71-74 for a plus-1 145 to finish T6 at Royal Cinque Ports when only five spots were available. Puig local qualified at the 123rd U.S. Open last month.
Harry Hall, who finished T3 at the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in May, after leading the first three rounds, shot 73-75 for a four-over-par 148 to miss by six shots at Royal Porthcawl.
Wallace, a winner of an opposite-field event on the PGA Tour in March, led qualifying at West Lankashire, posting rounds of 68-65 for an 11-under 133 score. Also qualifying at West Lankashire were: Matthew Jordan (-10), Kyle Barker (-10), Alex Fitzpatrick (-9) and amateur Tiger Christenson (-9).
Martin Rohwer and Detry were medalists at Royal Cinque Ports at three-under-par 141, with Schwartzel, Grace and Antoine Rozer one shot back at two-under-par. The five qualifiers were three shots clear of the rest of the field.
Qualifying at Royal Porthcawl were Laurie Canter (-8), Brandon Robinson (-4), Matthew Southgate (-2), Jazz Janewattananond (-1) and Oliver Farr (-1).
At Dundonald Links, Michael Stewart and Marco Penge earned the first two spots. Connor McKinney and Graeme Robertson had to survive a 3-for-2 playoff for the final two spots. McKinney advanced with a birdie on the second extra hole, Robertson with a birdie on the fifth extra hole.
Andy Ogletree, winner of the 2019 U.S. Amateur who won an Asian Tour event in November, missed the Dundonald Links playoff by one shot.