• The Englishman has only missed one Open since 2002
• Cabrera and Molinari also looking to book spots at St Andrews
LUKE DONALD | THE OPEN
Luke Donald is among a host of players aiming to secure their place at St Andrews in three weeks’ time as the Open Qualifying Series moves to the PGA Tour at the Travelers Championship.
The Englishman has only missed one Open Championship since 2002 – the 2008 tournament at Royal Birkdale – and has plummeted down the world rankings to No.68 in recent weeks, after being well inside the top 50 at the beginning of 2015.
The former world No.1 has just one top ten to his name in 15 events so far this year – a seventh-placed finish at the Honda Classic – and also had to qualify for the US Open at the final stages, where he made the cut at Chambers Bay but finished in a lowly 58th place.
Joining Luke Donald, who has two top five finishes to his name at past Open Championships, in search of making it to St Andrews include two-time major winner Angel Cabrera, who has made 16 previous appearances at the tournament, and two-time European Ryder Cup winner Francesco Molinari, who has been in good form recently with top five finishes at the Spanish Open, BMW PGA Championship and Memorial Tournament.
Scots Russell Knox and Martin Laird will also be desperate to make it to the Home of Golf, while American Nick Watney finished seventh the last time the Open was held at St Andrews in 2010.
That tournament was won by Louis Oosthuizen, and the exempt South African will be looking to back up his runner-up finish at the US Open last week with a strong showing at TPC River Highlands, with the Travelers Championship being part of the Open Qualifying Series for the first time.
The leading four players, who are not already exempt, that finish in the top 12 and ties in Connecticut will take their place at the Home of Golf, with other exempt players such as Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker headlining a strong field.
"We’re delighted to welcome the Travelers Championship to the Open Qualifying Series" - Johnnie Cole-Hamilton
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, the R&A’s executive director of championships, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Travelers Championship to the Open Qualifying Series for the first time this year. The championship is one of the best attended on the PGA Tour and having four qualifying places at the Open to play for will add an exciting new dimension to the event.”
In addition to the four qualifying places on offer, the first five players and ties that are not already exempt in the top 20 of the PGA Tour FedExCup Points List for 2015 at the conclusion of the Travelers Championship will also gain exemptions into the Open.
The Open Qualifying Series continues next week on the PGA Tour at the Greenbrier Classic and on the European Tour at the Alstom Open de France.
Luke Donald :: Can he qualify?
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