Rafferty enters Open qualifier

Former European No 1 Ronan Rafferty is bidding to join Padraig Harrington in next month's Open Championship at Turnberry.

The TV pundit, 45, is one of 13 Irishmen entered for Local Final Qualifying in Scotland next week.

Ronan RaffertyWith time on his hands following the recent collapse of UK-based Setanta Golf, Rafferty will begin his Open quest next Monday when he joins 288 hopefuls battling for just 12 spots at three venues over two days.

Rafferty played in the Open 12 times between 1980 and 1995 and finished ninth behind Seve Ballesteros at St Andrews 25 years ago.

The Warrenpoint man was exempt into Local Final Qualifying as a former Ryder Cup player and is joined at Glasgow Gailes by Castlecomer’s Brendan McDermott, Royal County Down’s Jerry Scullion, former tour star David Higgins, Irish Close winner Pat Murray and amateur James Fox.

Challenge Tour stars Colm Moriarty and Jonny Caldwell, the Island’s David Rawluk and amateurs Simon Ward and Andrew Hogan will tee it up at Kilmarnock Barassie with Killarney's Danny Sugrue and Douglas' Peter O’Keeffe going at Western Gailes.

Masters champions Jose Maria Olazabal and Fred Couples are also trying their luck.

Ireland will have at least six starters in the Open from July 16-19 with Harrington chasing a hat-trick of titles alongside Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Damien McGrane and Graeme McDowell.

Monday 6 & Tuesday 7 July 2009


08:12 11:34 Brendan McDermott, Castlecomer

09:17 12:39 Ronan Rafferty, Northern Ireland

10:34 07:12 Jerry Scullion, Royal County Down

10:46 07:24 Pat Murray (A), Republic of Ireland

11:34 08:12 James Fox (A), Portmarnock, David Higgins, Republic of Ireland


07:24 10:46 Colm Moriarty, Republic of Ireland

08:24 11:46 Jonathan Caldwell, Northern Ireland

08:53 12:15 David Rawluk, The Island

09:17 12:39 Simon Ward (A), Republic of Ireland

10:34 07:12 Andrew Hogan (A), Newlands


08:12 11:34 Daniel Sugrue, Unattached

13:15 09:53 Peter O'Keeffe, Republic of Ireland