- Scott Henry cards opening round of 68
- One shot behind leader Alex Gleeson
- Vijay Singh fails to turn up at Glasgow Gailes
SCOTT HENRY | THE OPEN
Scott Henry raised hopes of making his first-ever appearance at an Open Championship after carding a three-under-par round of 68 to sit near the summit of the leaderboard of the Final Qualifying event at Glasgow Gailes.
The 28-year-old Scot got off to a fast sart, birdieing the first four holes before three-putting an eagle chance at the par-5 fifth and bogeying the sixth.
“I was three-under after the sixth but I felt like it should’ve been five-under,” said Scott Henry, who teed off at 7.45am alongside Amateur Championship finalist Grant Forrest and Austrian Manuel Trappel.
"It’s hard not to think about it when you’re going out to play this afternoon" - Scott Henry
“The wind then got up after that and I hit a few bad shots but my short game saved me a bit and I played alright coming in. The back nine is so much tougher than the front as a good few more holes are into the wind."
On the prospect of grabbing one of the three Open Championship spots available at today's 36-hole shoot-out, Henry added: “It’s every golfer’s dream, let alone every Scottish golfer’s dream. It’s hard not to think about it when you’re going out to play this afternoon but as long as you think about it in a positive way and use it to spur you on as opposed to letting it get too far ahead of yourself.”
Banchory’s James Byrne went into his afternoon round buoyed by a level-par round of 71, and is hoping to make it to St Andrews this time around after missing out agonisingly in a play-off the last time the Championship was held at the Old Course in 2010.
“I played really well this morning,” said Byrne. “The conditions are tough with it being so windy so I knew even-par or under would be a good score out there.”
"I’m expecting another tough round this afternoon and battling my way round to make pars" - James Byrne
“Presumably, the weather is going to remain like this for the rest of the day so I’m expecting another tough round this afternoon and battling my way round to make pars.
“It was a huge advantage to get out early. I teed off at 6.40am so I managed nine holes before the wind really got up – although I wasn’t too happy about waking up at 4am!”
“Obviously, it’d be great to get into the Open. I lost in a play-off in 2010 to get to St Andrews so I’m hoping to go one better than that as it’s the one major every golfer wants to play in.”
Chris Kelly also shot level-par but admitted he had no intention of thinking about St Andrews just yet.
"I’m not looking any further than my first tee shot now" - Chris Kelly
“There’s still a long, long way to go. It’s pretty breezy out there, the golf course is in great shape but I’m not looking any further than my first tee shot now.”
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for those who had turned up hoping to catch a glimpse of three-time major winner and former world No.1 Vijay Singh. The 52-year-old Fijian, who has played in 24 Open Championships with a best finish of joint second in 2003, had been scheduled to tee off at 7.20am this morning alongside Pierre Relecom of Belgium and Spain’s Alvaro Velasco.
However, in a brief statement, the R&A confirmed that Singh had not shown up for his tee time and had been replaced by England’s Lewis Parker.
"Vijay Singh did not turn up and the next available person on the list took his place,” said an R&A spokesman.
In the other qualifiers, it’s looking good for two-time major winner Retief Goosen, who is five-under-par at Woburn, while at the same venue, Colin Montgomerie’s chances of making an appearance at St Andrews are looking slim as he is currently two-over-par.