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Matt Ford from Bearsted qualifies for the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews after leading field home at Prince's Golf Club

Kent's Matt Ford is set to make his major championship debut at the 150th Open at St Andrews after he led the qualifiers at Prince’s Golf Club.

Ford, from Bearsted who represents CK Group, finished two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard at final qualifying ahead of Jamie Rutherford and Irishman Ronan Mullarney, a former R&A Foundation Scholar, who tied for second on three-under-par.

Bearsted's Matt Ford. Picture: Ady Kerry
Bearsted's Matt Ford. Picture: Ady Kerry

A play-off decided the final qualifying place at Prince's which went to Jack Floydd, of Haywards Heath.

"I eagled 8 to get five-under early in the second round and then I hit a couple of poor drives which ended up costing me four shots, so [went from] five-under to one-under middle of the round," Ford said.

"To finish as I did, I’m obviously very happy and to make eagle and a couple of birdies as I did coming home was great.

"I showed some good mental strength and golf in the end."

But Canterbury professional Richard Wallis missed out, ending one-over-par.

“It is disappointing to miss out knowing you have made two silly mistakes for doubles at two of the par 3s,” he told Steve Acteson.

“I could easily have been four-under this morning and then I got off to a sloppy start in the afternoon which stunts you a bit.

“I had a lot of supporters and that was great.

Richard Wallis of Canterbury Golf Club missed out, though. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Richard Wallis of Canterbury Golf Club missed out, though. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“I really appreciated so many members giving up their day to wander round with me for what was pretty much a 10-hour day.''

Further back were Ant Tarchetti, of Chart Hills, on five-over-par and Rochester & Cobham Park's Jamie Wood who was four shots further adrift.

Elsewhere Steven Tiley, of Royal Cinque Ports in Deal, also couldn't make it through.

He finished two-over-par at Hollinwell, just two shots behind fourth-placed Marco Penge and six adrift of Barclay Brown who led the field home in Nottinghamshire with four-under-par, while Kings Hill's Ben Quinney was six-over-par at St Anne's Old Links.

At Fairmont St Andrews, Rochester & Cobham Park's Warren Wood struggled and was 19-over-par.

The 150th Open Championship will take place from July 14 until July 17.

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