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A Magical Marathon: 12-Man Playoff Caps Regional Qualifying at Goswick

June 25, 2024

Photo above: Arjuna Anday digs it out of the rough on the 2nd playoff hole (the par-5 17th). He survived and then birdied the 5th extra hole to punch his ticket to Final Qualifying.

With all due respect to Australian Jack Doherty, who racked up eight birdies en route to a four-under-par 68 and the lowest score in Regional Qualifying for The Open at Goswick Golf Links on Monday, he wasn’t —  literally speaking — the big story. That honour was reserved for a truly massive 12-man playoff for the final five spots in Final Qualifying that will set the field for The Open to be played at Royal Troon 18-21 July.

Joe Bryce breathes a sigh of relief after birdieing the 3rd extra hole to move on to Final Qualifying.

A full field of 135 top pros and amateurs, starting in 3-balls every 10 minutes from 6:45 am to 2:25 pm, completed some 12 hours of intense golf only to discover that an extra five holes under fading daylight would be required to close the book on Goswick’s second five-year cycle as a Regional Qualifying host.

Dominic McGlinchey takes dead aim at the par-3 13th hole.

In the end, Doherty was joined by Clubs4Cash employee and Edinburgh native Ross Munro, who came in with a two-under-par 70 playing in the final group of the day, along with the five playoff survivors: Old Course Ranfurly’s Aidan O’Hagan, Gleneagles’ Joe Bryce, Westerhope’s George Cowan, American Ajuna Anday and Glenbervie’s Ross Laird. These seven now advance to Final Qualifying to be held at Dundonald Links on Tuesday 2ndJuly.

Goswick's Archie Cook approaches the 18th green with hopes of a closing birdie.

Unfortunately, Goswick’s entrants —Daniel Bullen, Shane Armstrong, Archie Cook and David Ord — weren’t able to translate their local knowledge into a pathway to The Open. But all four represented the club well, with Bullen on a 73 and Cook (just 16 years old) on a 74 coming the closest to challenging for one of the coveted qualifying places.

Goswick PGA Coach David Ord belts a drive off the championship tee on the par-5 17th hole.

Goswick’s James Braid-designed links masterpiece, however, did thoroughly rise to the occasion. It’s firm and fast conditions, penal tall fescue rough and swirling winds proved to be a worthy test for these fine players, as these scores will attest. And it’s never looked better under a clear blue sky and drenched in glorious sunshine.


All in all, it was a great, epic and stellar day for Goswick!