July 4: England’s Ian Poulter and India’s Shiv Kapur were among 15 players to make it through Final Qualifying for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.
Playing at his home course of Woburn, Poulter carded rounds of 70 and 68 to finish joint second with compatriot Toby Treeheads. Kapur took the top spot at Woburn with scores of 71 and 65 for an eight-under-par 136 total.
Poulter is looking forward to returning to Royal Birkdale in two weeks’ time, the scene of his best finish in The Open as runner-up to Padraig Harrington in 2008.
“Obviously going back to Birkdale after what happened in 2008 is special. It was a great week, my best in a Major. All my family and friends were there to see me play and after I finished Katie told me she was pregnant with Lily, so it was happy days that week. I would say Birkdale is my favourite Open venue because of 2008 and I’m looking forward to competing there.
“It’s going to be a busy run. It will be my fourth tournament in a row but it’s about managing my energy levels. But as soon as I get there I will be pumped for the week,” said the 41-year-old.
Kapur made a 4,167-mile round trip from his home in Delhi just to play, only arriving on Sunday evening. He flew straight home after securing his third Open appearance.
“I have flown all the way from India to play in this qualifier, so that just shows you how much I want to play in The Open Championship. Growing up as a kid The Open Championship was the ultimate. I haven’t played Royal Birkdale, and I haven’t played The Open Championship since 2013 at Muirfield when I led during the first round. So I have very fond memories of that,” said the 34-year-old.