The Open: Thirteen Irish set for Final Qualifying

The Open: Thirteen Irish set for Final Qualifying
 Pádraig Harrington, Open champion at Royal Birkdale in 2008, on a recent return visit to the Southport links

Pádraig Harrington, Open champion at Royal Birkdale in 2008, on a recent return visit to the Southport links

Thirteen Irish golfers will tee it up in Final Qualifying for The Open at five venues across the UK on July.

They are among 360 players who will bid for a total of 15 places in the field at Royal Birkdale in Southport from July 16-23.

Five Irishmen — Ruaidhri McGee, Brendan McCarroll, Kevin Phelan and amateur John-Ross Galbraith and Rowan Lester will try for their dream ticket over 36 holes at Gailes Links in Glasow with Stephen Grant and David Carey drawn at Hillside, next door to the Open venue.

The Island's Paul McBride, who rose 16 places to 50th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking following his run to the quarter-finals of the Amateur Championship last week, is the lone Irish entrant at Notts (Hollinwell).

Stuttgart-based Gregory Leech and Tullamore's Stuart Grehan, the World Amateur No 46, will attempt to qualify for Royal Birkdale at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent while at Woburn, Brian Casey and Gary Hurley will be joined by Castle amateur Alex Gleeson.

Several big names have entered Final Qualifying including Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson at Hillside, Ian Poulter and Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn at Woburn and Vijay Singh at Royal Cinque Ports.

Graeme McDowell and Paul Dunne have yet to qualify for Royal Birkdale but hope to make it via the Open Qualifying Series.

There will be three places awarded to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties at the this week's HNA Open de France, next week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open or the following week's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

The Open - Final Qualifying

Gailes Links

Ruaidhri McGee
Brendan McCarroll
Kevin Phelan
Rowan Lester
John-Ross Galbraith

Hillside

Stephen Grant
David Carey

Notts (Hollinwell)

Paul McBride

Royal Cinque Ports

Gregory Leech
Stuart Grehan

Woburn

Brian Casey
Alex Gleeson
Gary Hurley