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GOLF: Matton aiming for Open dream
BOWOOD youngster Sam Matton was hoping it will be third time lucky as he aimed to finally reach the Open Championship today.
The 23-year-old has made local qualifying twice having played at Turnberry in 2009 and Fairmont St Andrews in 2010.
However, neither of these appearances yielded a spot in the Open, but Matton was aiming to turn that around when he teed off at West Lancashire this morning, with three qualifying berths available.
“I’m pretty calm at the moment,” said Matton, who fired a 68 at Ferndown near Bournemouth in regional qualifiers, ahead of his 36 holes.
“I’m looking forward to it as it’s a good opportunity and I’ve got nothing to lose.
“My game’s in pretty good shape and if I play the golf I’m capable of then I’ve got a chance of qualifying, it’s about who turns up on the day.
“There’s a few decent players there but they are all there for a reason, and that’s because they haven’t qualified. Everyone has as good a chance as everyone else.”
Matton might have prior experience of West Lancashire, but he insisted this would not give him any advantage.
“I played there in the British Amateur three years ago, but the course is playing completely different now,” he said.
Matton was beginning his campaign at 8.35am alongside Nicolo Gaggero of Italy and David Callaway (Milford). He tees off his second round at 2.05pm.
Wiltshire amateur ace Ben Loughrey (Wrag Barn) was also bidding for an Open place today, the England international teeing off at St Annes Old Links this morning.
County teammate Robbie Busher, from Salisbury & South Wilts club was teeing off at the same venue.
Trowbridge professional Steve Surry (Cumberwell Park), who qualified for the Open at Turnberry in 2009, was playing at the West Lancashire course.
The Open Championship will be held at Royal Lytham & St Annes later this month.
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