Nick Marsh leads way as 10 Yorkshire golfers aim for Open spot

Nick Marsh: Open in sight.Nick Marsh: Open in sight.
Nick Marsh: Open in sight.
Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh will look to go one better than the play-off defeat he suffered five years ago by finally booking a spot at the Open Championship.

The Halifax-born professional, 24, is one of 10 Yorkshire golfers through to final qualifying across four courses today.

Just 12 places are up for grabs at the Open at Royal Portrush later this month from the 280 competing.

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In 2014 when a place at Hoylake was on the line, Marsh lost in a play-off.

“It’s every golfer’s dream to play in the Open – but I’ve got another 36 holes to get through,” he says.

Marsh reached this stage by progressing through the regional qualifers as joint leader on the Fairhaven course at Lytham St Annes last week.

He qualified alongside Leeds amateur Ben Firth, both shooting a 67 to finish five-under-par.

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Ahead of today’s trip to St Anne’s Links for the final qualifier, Marsh said: “I’m in good shape – I’ve played there before and have had a good experience. I want to play the best golf I can.”

Marsh will tee off for his first round at 7.40am and his second at 1.25pm.

Joining Marsh at St Annes Old Links will be fellow Huddersfield member and amateur Josh Morton, as well as Ross Earnshaw (Sandburn Hall), Liam O’Neill (Cookridge Hall) and amateur Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall).

Sixteen-year-old amateur Ben Schmidt (Rotherham) was the impressive winner of the Alwoodley qualifier just a few weeks after winning the Brabazon Trophy over the same Leeds course.

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Schmidt plays at Fairmont St Andrews today and joining him in Scotland is fellow amateur Daniel Bradbury (Wakefield).

Notts Hollinwell will host William Whiteoak (Shipley), Luke Jackson (Lindrick) and Firth (Leeds).