Nostalgic Blackey considers shot at The Open

matt blackey
matt blackey
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

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Matt Blackey is considering dragging himself through the pain barrier for one final crack at playing in The Open.

The Hayling Island man regained his amateur status last year after a seven-year stint on the European Tour.

Between 1998 and 2005 he played more than 100 tournaments among the elite of European golf.

But he counts missing out on playing in The Open among his biggest regrets.

And he’s thinking of trying his luck as an amateur through the rigorous qualifying process, in a bid to join the best players in the world.

Although Blackey believes he can make the grade, his hopes of a nostalgic farewell attempt have been hit by a knee injury that could leave his hopes in tatters.

Blackey, 41, said: ‘I was born in Lytham and with The Open being there this year, this will probably be the last one where I might be in some sort of state to qualify for it.

‘It’s probably nostalgic reasoning behind it. I was looking at the entry form the other night and I’ve got until the end of May to make a decision on whether I go for all the qualifying.

‘At the moment, it looks unlikely because of my knee injury but I haven’t written it off yet. We will have to wait and see.’

Blackey, who now works for TaylorMade, admits that he is short of practice.

His medial knee ligament problem could scupper his hopes.

He said: ‘With my work commitments, I haven’t had a chance to play much or practice.

‘I’ve got a bit of a knee injury which I’m seeing a specialist about and it might need surgery.

‘Every time I play golf, I get to about 13 holes and then I’m in agony.

‘I used to suffer with it when I was on Tour and had to take painkillers to get me through.

‘It wasn’t as painful as it gets now, though.’

With regional qualifying taking place at 14 clubs in late June, there’s only a handful of spots up for grabs.

But Blackey’s course knowledge would definitely give him hope.

He said: ‘I feel I could get through regionals with a bit of practice but the final qualifying is the tough one where you have to play 36 holes in one day.

‘However, I do know all of the courses inside out, so I would feel confident in knowing where I was going.

‘I thought it might be nice to give it a crack for one final time.’