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Matt Ford believes European Tour experience will boost Open qualification hopes

By Craig Tucker

Bearsted golfer Matt Ford Picture Martin Apps

Bearsted golfer Matt Ford Picture: Martin Apps

Matt Ford has his best chance yet to reach The Open.

Ford goes into final qualifying at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal on Tuesday, buoyed by an impressive first year on the European Tour.

There will be little room for error as only the top three in an 80-man field qualify for next month’s Open at St Andrews.

But the Bearsted golfer has proved he can live with the sport’s big names, enjoying a best finish of second place at the Africa Open.

Ford, 37, plays the first of two rounds at 8.55am and is out again at 2.40pm.

He said: “I’m looking forward to playing at Deal, I like the course and know it well.

“I am feeling confident after the last six months and the experiences I have had should make me feel more comfortable with the qualifying process, which is very tough.

“There will be three spots from 80 people and the field will be very strong, with lots of European Tour players.”

Not only is The Open Ford’s favourite event, he’s also a big fan of this year’s venue.

He said: “It’s a dream of mine to do well in The Open and I haven’t played in one yet, so I would love to get in and especially at St Andrews, which is one of my favourite places in the world.

“It’s also my favourite tournament.

“Playing in European Tour events is a step up from the Challenge Tour and the majors is a step up again but at least it’s not as big a step from the European Tour.”

Ford finished 65th at the BMW International in Munich on Sunday. He was five-under in 26th place after two rounds but wound up five-over.

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