If at First You Don’t Succeed, the British Open Is Still Possible

For the Scottish Open, there are spots for the three highest finishers not already in the British Open, a bit of consolation for not winning the tournament.

[Read more about the site of this year’s Scottish Open, the Renaissance Club]

In 2017, Callum Shinkwin, an English golfer, led the tournament until the 72nd hole, when he had his only bogey of the round. That tied him with Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Shinkwin lost the sudden-death playoff, but qualified for the British Open.

He “was obviously disappointed not to have won the tournament having led on the 72nd hole, but, that event not only helped him qualify for the Open, but immediately removed any fear of losing his card that season,” said David Jebb, his agent at IMG, a sports agency.

While qualifying on Sunday for a tournament that begins on Monday adds a layer of excitement to what is a career achievement for many players, the moment does not come without stress and confusion.

Stone and his caddie Teagan Moore, who are good friends, had planned to spend the next week on a whisky-tasting tour of Scotland. Instead, they were scrambling to change flights and cars and get more clothes. “Finding an apartment the week of the Open is hard at the best of times, but it’s not easy the night before the tournament,” he said.

At least for the players who qualify in Scotland, the British Open is close to where they need to be. Carnoustie is only a couple of hours by car from Gullane, where the Scottish Open was played last year. This year, it is across the Irish Sea at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

The same cannot be said for the qualifier from the John Deere. Only the winner or the highest finisher not already in the tournament gets into the British Open, a plum battlefield promotion but one that was besieged by chaos in its early incarnation.

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