4 Jul 2012

NZ golfer to play at British Open

10:41 am on 4 July 2012

New Zealand will have a golfer at the Open Championship for the first time since 2009.

The Hamilton professional Steve Alker has won a qualifying tournament in West Lancashire, finishing on seven under par to win by two shots from a group of four players.

The top three players in the tournament qualified to play the British Open, the oldest tournament in golf at Royal Lytham & St Annes - the venue where Bob Charles won his only major title in 1963.

American Scott Pinckney (75, 64) and England's Steven O'Hara (70, 69) were the other two professionals to secure a spot in the year's third major.

Wellington professional Mark Brown was also in qualifying in West Lancashire.

He carded rounds of 72 and 71 to finish on a one under par total in a share of 10th place and miss out on the playoff by four shots.

Michael Campbell, whose best result at The Open is a tie for third back in 1995, had rounds of 71 and 73 to finish on an even par total and in a share of 16th place.