May
24
2011
Davis Love III Among Eight to Qualify for the British Open
By Stephanie Wei under British Open

Love grinds it out to qualify

Go low or go home — that’s what it boils down to in one-day qualifiers. Brian Davis of England fired a six-under 64 on Monday to best the field and secure one of eight spots at hand for the British Open at America’s International Final Qualifying event. Davis Love III was one of six Americans to qualify, posting a four-under 66 at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas.

Thunderstorms caused a five-hour delay, resulting in the decision by officials to shorten the event from 36 to 18 in order to finish on Monday. Chad Campbell came in with a 65 to finish solo second in the event. Love’s four-under effort was matched by Australian Nathan Green and Americans Spencer Levin, Chris Tidland and Bob Estes.

Six players shot three-under and vied for the final spot in a playoff, which Jerry Kelly eventually won.

Brandt Snedeker, the no. 47-ranked player in the world, was one of the six. Why’s he in the qualifier in the first place? Aren’t the top-50 in the world exempt? Yeah, but it’s the top-50 when the new rankings are published next Monday. Since Snedeker isn’t playing in the Byron Nelson Championship this week, he was covering his bases. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry! He’ll be cutting it close, but I’m not sure the rankings are volatile enough that three players will pass him.

Tidland lost his PGA Tour card last season after finishing 148th on last year’s money list, which put him in what some on tour refer to as the purgatory category. While Tidland has conditional status on Tour, he has a high number, making it virtually impossible to get into Tour events. But he earned himself a spot at a major on Monday — his first since the 2000 US Open.

Love missed last year’s Masters, but earned a spot at Augusta this past April after placing T6 at the US Open at Pebble Beach, which also secured him an automatic berth for this year’s championship. As the ’97 PGA champion, Love has a lifetime exemption to golf’s fourth and final major of the season. This will be the first time since 2007 that Love is entered in all four majors.

With Ryder Cup points doubled at majors, perhaps this is a step in the right direction for the US captain, who says it’s his pipedream aspires to be a playing captain at the 2012 matches.

Oh, and as you’ve probably heard, Sergio Garcia withdrew after four holes because an infected fingernail prevented him from holding the club comfortably.

Go here for full results of the qualifier.

(Dallas Morning News, G.J. McCarthy)