Superb Maybin clears final hurdle to book Open ticket
Gareth Maybin will tee up in the British Open at Muirfield next month after producing two splendid rounds in the international final qualifying at Sunningdale.
The 32-year-old former World Cup player, who completed a scholarship at the University of South Alabama before turning professional in 2005, posted a 36-hole total of 136 over the Old and New courses with rounds of 67 and 69.
That put the Northern Irishman from Donagh, Co Fermanagh in a tie for third place behind American Brooks Koepka and England's Oliver Fisher.
In a tense situation, Maybin kept his nerve over the closing holes on the New Course, finishing with two birdies and four pars.
Michael Hoey – with whom Maybin played for Ireland in the 2007 World Cup in China, missed out after recording 140 with scores of 71 and 69 to put him outside the top 20.
Meanwhile, Dubliner Neil O'Briain took a step towards booking a place in the British Open by making final qualifying in Scotland next week, when he topped the six going through from yesterday's regional qualifier over the Island course.
The former Waterford College graduate, now attached to the Old Conna Club was third in the 2011 Irish PGA Club Pros Championship and yesterday fired a 70 – one below the standard scratch score – to finish well clear of his rivals.
Bushfort-based David Jones and Derry's 35-year-old Michael McGeady, the 2008 Swalec Welsh Challenge Tour event winner, both went through with scores of 73.
Local man David Ramaluk, Brendon McConnell and Killarney's Daniel Sugrue also overcame the regional qualifying hurdle.
However, Royal Portrush amateur Matthew McAlpine, who qualified for the match play stages of the British Amateur Championship in Kent last week, fell by the wayside with a 77.