GOLF: No Open for county players

This Is Wiltshire: Sam Matton Sam Matton

WILTSHIRE'S golfers were unable to claim a place in this year's Open Championship at today's local final qualifying in the north west.

Bowood-based professional Sam Matton went closest, having carded a three-under-par round of 69 at West Lancashire in his opening round.

That left him in a five-way tie for second spot and he improved his prospects by reaching five under midway through his second 18 holes.

However, he dropped back to level par for the round and ended up an agonising two shots off joint second, which would have taken him into a play-off.

Trowbridge professional Steve Surry was back in tied 40th place, with rounds of 77 and 73 for a six over par total.

Wrag Barn amateur Ben Loughrey fired a four-over-par 76 at St Annes Old Links this morning in local final qualifying, leaving him some 10 shots off the lead and the England international added a two-over-par 78 in the afternoon.

Loughrey's Wiltshire teammate Robbie Busher (Salisbury & South Wilts) shot 71 and 77 at St Annes Old Links.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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