x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Furious Ferrie blasts pin placing

The English golfer bogeys the 18th at Western Gailes, prompting fears that he will not qualify for the Open next week.

England's Kenneth Ferrie launched a scathing attack on organisers of the Open Championship today after fearing a closing bogey had ended his hopes of surviving the final qualifying competition. The former European Open champion three-putted the green for a five-under-par 68 and aggregate score of seven under. "The pin placing on the 18th is an absolute disgrace ? horrific, ridiculous," said a furious Ferrie. "My putt had four breaks on it from 25 yards and it just leaves a sour taste. "I drove here late at night on Sunday (after finishing sixth at the French Open and missing an Open spot by one stroke there) and battled away for 35 holes, but just feel now it was a waste of time. "And I guarantee you when I turn on the TV next week there will be a lot of stupid flags at Turnberry. "I would have thought the R&A (Royal and Ancient Club) would have learnt their lesson after Sunningdale." Two years ago a number of players in the European qualifier on the Surrey course were given a chance to play a hole again when one pin placing was considered unplayable. "I'd have thought they would be super safe after that," he added. "Who cares if the best score is 95 under?" Even if he does not make it today, Ferrie has one more chance at this week's Scottish Open to earn a place in next week's championship. Good though his seven-under total was, only four of 96 players at each of the three qualifying courses go through. Scotland's Lloyd Saltman, hoping to qualify along with his brother Elliot, was much happier coming off the 18th green after sinking an 18-foot putt for a 10 under par total that looked like being good enough. "I felt I needed that putt big-time," said the 23-year-old before going off to watch his older brother try to defend his lead at Glasgow Gailes. Saltman, 15th in the 2005 Open as an amateur, had no fewer than nine birdies in his three under 70, including five in a row around the turn, but double-bogeyed the fifth and 17th. Yorkshire's Gordon J Brand, runner-up to Greg Norman in the 1986 Open at Turnberry and now 53, joined Ferrie on seven under, but their chances were reduced when Derbyshire professional Ian Walley added a 71 to his opening 67 for eight under. Former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker was the early clubhouse leader at Glasgow Gailes, but only on four under after back-to-back 69s. Ferrie was certain to miss out when Austrian Markus Brier returned a marvellous 16-under-par total, adding a 66 to his course-record opening 64, and led by six. Playing partners Jose Maria Olazabal and Barry Lane failed to make it and now need to grab the one spot on offer at the Scottish Open. Olazabal, three under overnight, ruined his hopes by bogeying the long first and then driving out of bounds for a triple bogey on the third. He did come back to shoot a level-par 73 but was already five outside the cut. *PA Sport