Elliott, McCoy, Howison qualify for Senior Open in Scotland
Mike McCoy, Gene Elliott, and Ryan Howison made it to St. Andrews (European Tour photo)
Mike McCoy, Gene Elliott, and Ryan Howison made it to St. Andrews (European Tour photo)

VARIOUS SITES, SCOTLAND (July 23, 2018) - A day after Open Championship mania concluded at Carnoustie, the veterans began eyeing spots in their own Open. Qualifying for the Senior Open Championship, to be played at the Old Course at St. Andrews, took place Monday at four sites in Scotland, and amateurs held their own.

Gene Elliott, reigning Jones Cup Senior champion who is currently the top player in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings, was among those who earned himself a spot in the big event. With his wife on the bag, Elliott, fired a 1-over 73 at Fairmont St. Andrews in the morning wave of players, then had to wait and watch as the rest of the field came in. Elliott fell into a seven-man playoff for the final four spots and advanced. He was one of two amateurs to make it out of his qualifier, joining Swede Mats Dornell, who was also part of the playoff.

Though they traveled together, Elliott and fellow American amateur Mike McCoy did not play the same qualifier. McCoy, another senior legend and former U.S. Mid-Amateur champion who won the Trans-Miss Senior earlier this year, teed it up at Lundin Links and made it through with a 2-under 69. He had two birdies on the day – one of which came at the 17th – and 16 pars.

Interestingly, Gary Koch, who came right out of the booth after calling the Open Championship last week was co-medalist at the Lundin qualifier. Koch plays professionally.

Another commentator, Brandel Chamblee, shared medalist honors at the qualifier at Scotscraig Golf Club. Chamblee, who also plays as a professional, was part of a three-way tie at 2-under 69 that also included amateur Robert Maxfield, an Englishman. His compatriot and fellow amateur G.S. Lacy also earned a spot in the field as part of a four-man tie for fourth at 1 under.

The final U.S. amateur to qualify, Ryan Howison, also advanced through a playoff. Playing at Ladybank Golf Club, Howison, a 51-year-old reinstated amateur, made it through a five-for-four playoff after posting a 1-under 70.

The first round at St. Andrews begins on Thursday.

ABOUT THE Senior British Open Qualifying

18-hole stroke play qualifier held at three sites on the Monday before the Senior British Open Championship. The Senior British Open has been part of the European Seniors Tour since 1987 and from 2003 is included in the Champions Tour as one of the five major world events in senior golf.

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