With just one week remaining before The 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open represents the final opportunity for three South Africans not already exempt to grab a coveted spot in the field at golf’s oldest major.
Trevor Fisher Jnr, Darren Fichardt and Justin Walters are amongst the 156 players in the field for the Scottish Open this week. Of those, 49 already have their places booked for The Open, meaning there are a further 107 players all vying for one of those four sought-after spots.
This week’s showpiece at Castle Stuart is the last event in the global Open Qualifying Series, with four qualifying places available for the leading four players – not otherwise exempt – who finish in the top 12 and ties.
In the 100th Open de France last week, there was joy for Brandon Stone, Alex Noren, Callum Shinkwin and Richard Sterne – but who will claim their place at Troon this week in Inverness?
Fichardt has played in The Open five times from his first time back in 2000, but he has not managed to make the cut in any of those appearances. Fisher and Walters have never played in a major championship, so a good showing by them at Inverness will give them an opportunity of a lifetime.
Another South African in the field is amateur Albert Venter, who won the inaugural African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek in February, courtesy of a pair of 65s on that challenging course. It was that performance which got the Tuks student who plays out of Centurion Country Club the invitation to play in Scotland.