Irish trio miss out on Open berths
IRELAND'S Shane Lowry, Peter Lawrie and Paul McGinley drew blanks yesterday as 10 places at next month's British Open at Lytham went up for grabs in International Final Qualifying.
Lowry tied 21st on two-under, two strokes outside a five-man play-off for the final two berths. The Clara man posted one-under-par rounds of 69 and 68 on Sunningdale Old and New courses.
Lawrie was two-over for his 36 holes after shooting 72 and 69, while McGinley was one of more than two dozen players to withdraw after their first round, deciding not to risk stress on his dodgy knees in Irish Open week after opening with a 75.
But victory at Royal Portrush would see McGinley through on the seven-tournament 'Open Mini-Order of Merit', which concludes on Sunday -- third place in the Irish Open probably would be good enough.
Failing that, a top-five finish at the French or Scottish Opens could be just the ticket for the Irish trio.
England's James Morrison led on eight-under at Sunningdale. He'll be joined at Lytham by Sam Walker, Alejando Canizares, Richard Finch, Matthew Baldwin, Jamie Donaldson, Ross Fisher, Marcus Fraser, Lee Slattery and Thorbjorn Olesen.
Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal missed out.