Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh goes close once again to claiming Open spot

Huddersfield's 'Nick Marsh again went close to qualifying for the Open, as he did last year.
Huddersfield's 'Nick Marsh again went close to qualifying for the Open, as he did last year.
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Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh suffered a second dose of Open disappointment at Hillside yesterday.

English amateur champion Marsh was the only man not to progress from a four-man play-off – Woodsome Hall’s Chris Hanson was one of those who advanced – during last year’s Final Qualifying at the Southport course.

Yesterday Marsh placed highest of the 12-strong Yorkshire contingent in the 36-hole battle to claim a place in the year’s penultimate major championship, which will be held at St Andrews from July 16-19.

He was in the top three places when he moved to two under par overall on the back nine of his second round, but a subsequent dropped shot put him out of contention.

His rounds of 71 and 72 gave him a tie for fourth place, two shots shy of forcing American amateur Jordan Niebrugge and Swedish professional Pelle Edberg to compete in a three-man play-off for two spots.

Harrogate’s John Parry had scores of 71 and 73 which left him at level par, three shots behind winner Scott Arnold, of Australia.

It means Parry, who played in the US Open earlier this month for the second time after again making it through the difficult qualifying process, must wait at least another year to make his Open debut. .

Parry’s fellow European competitor Matthew Fitzpatrick, of Sheffield, also found a place beyond reach. He left too much ground to make up after shooting 76 in the first round. He was round in two-under 70 in the afternoon.

Eight days on from his Regional Qualifying win over his home course of Moortown, there was disappointment, too, for EuroPro Tour player Nick McCarthy.

He also put himself out of contention with a first-round 76, but his level-par 72 in the afternoon on a day of relatively high scoring will at least have given him a confidence boost as he tied for 18th.

Hanson, a Challenge Tour player, who as mentioned claimed a place at last year’s Open when he succeeded in a four-man play-off for three places, could not repeat the feat this time. After an encouraging opening level-par 72 he slipped to a 77.

Daniel Brown (Bedale) tied 33rd (74 77) while fellow amateur Jordan Perry (Phoenix) returned the same scores but in reverse order.

Howley Hall’s Ben Hutchinson shot 79 74, Hull’s Steve Robins 82 79, Bondhay’s Daniel Wasteney 78 84 and Hallowes professional Scott Campbell 76 81.

Simon Coumbe, of Pontefract – who had qualified behind McCarthy at Moortown – fired two rounds of 81.

Howley Hall’s Marcus Armitage shot a first round 80 and had a No Return for the afternoon.