Local quartet go for place at The Open

Neil Raymond Picture: David Cannon/R&A
Neil Raymond Picture: David Cannon/R&A
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FOUR local golfers will attempt to gain entry to The Open as final qualifying takes place today.

Professionals Neil Raymond and Lee-on-the-Solent’s James Ablett will be in the 72-strong field at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent for the 36-hole event, alongside a host of European Tour and Challenge Tour regulars, for their chance to join the showpiece at St Andrews on July 16-19.

Hayling amateur, Jamie Mist, will also be at the same venue in the scramble for one of just three places available.

But Corhampton man Raymond shrugged off the fact that the odds are against him and his fellow competitors.

He said: ‘Three people have got to get through and I don’t see why one of them can’t be me.

‘I’m playing nicely and I seem to have sorted out my knee after I injured it a couple of weeks ago.

‘The wind is up, the course is firm and fiery, but I have played a lot of links courses in my time.

‘I’ve got good memories of the course from two years ago when I got to the quarter-finals of the British Amateur so I love the place.

‘I’m just looking forward to getting going.’

Fellow amateur, Scott Gregory, will attempt to seize his opportunity at Woburn near Milton Keynes, where another three places are up for grabs.

And having just missed out for two years running, Gregory is keen to make the extra step, even though South African Retief Goosen – a former US Open champion – and former Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie are also in the same field.

Gregory said: ‘I feel quite good. I’ve done pretty well there for the past couple of years and just missed out so I just need to go a little bit better.

‘I missed out by two shots in 2013 and three shots last year.

‘I know I’ve got to play pretty well and not make any silly mistakes.

The past two years it has been six under so if I can do that, I will not be far away.’