PLANO, Texas (AP) — Former PGA champion Davis Love III secured a spot in his 23rd consecutive British Open, putting together rounds of 67-65 to earn one of eight spots in the U.S. qualifier Monday.
It was the second straight year Love had to qualify for the British Open, which will be played at Turnberry on July 16-19.
“I just want to play there,” Love said. “It’s the biggest and oldest golf tournament in the world.”
Matt Kuchar led all qualifiers with a 13-under 129 at Gleneagles Country Club. Jeff Overton, the medalist in this qualifying event last year at the TPC of Michigan, was two shots behind.
James Driscoll, a playoff loser at the Texas Open two weeks ago, joined Love, Richard S. Johnson, Martin Laird, Fredrik Jacobson and Tim Wilkinson at 10-under 132.
“I’ve been around it long enough that you just never know until it’s over,” Love said. “I’ve been sweating it out. I thought the number was going to be 11 (under).”
Kuchar was 7-under through 15 holes before a bogey at No. 16. He closed his morning round with two birdies to finish with a 63. He had two birdies on the opening three holes in the afternoon on his way to a 66.
“I knew if I just steered it around on the back 18 that I wouldn’t qualify,” Kuchar said. “I wanted to keep the gas pedal down and make more birdies.”
Overton had three eagles over his 36 holes and was 10-under on the par 5s. He tied for 70th last year at Royal Birkdale.
“That was my first major,” Overton said. “It was a dream come true. I’m from Indiana, so I like the wind and all the weather. It’s a lot of fun.”
Ben Crane, at No. 53 the highest-ranked player at the qualifier, shot 65 in the afternoon and missed by one shot. Also failing to qualify was Jesper Parnevik, the runner-up at the British Open when it last was held at Turnberry in 1994. The Swede, also the runner-up at Royal Troon in 1997, opened with a 64 but shot 70 in his second round and missed by two shots.
U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee shot 69 in the afternoon to miss by three shots. Lee could have played the British Open if he had not turned professional after the Masters.