'Fairytale' as Suffolk golfer qualifies for British Open
- Credit: Tony Garnett
Felixstowe golfer Sam Forgan is set to compete against some of the biggest names in the sport, after qualifying for the British Open Championship.
The 31-year-old, who is assistant professional at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, said it will be "very surreal" to compete in the tournament, which begins at Royal St George's Golf Club in Kent on Thursday.
Forgan will be taking part in his first major after topping the leaderboard in regional qualifying before making it through the final round.
His progress was charted all the way, as one of four players chosen for tournament organiser the R&A’s 'Road to the Open' series.
Forgan, who is being coached by fellow Felixstowe Ferry professional Andrew Robinson, has been drawn to play alongside European Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington in the tournament's opening stages.
Other global superstars hoping to secure the 149th Open Championship include Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.
Former Stowmarket Golf Club junior Forgan said he has been to the Open as a spectator - but is relishing the chance to finally compete.
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He said: "It feels good to be playing. I've come before to the Open and it's amazing.
"It was a strange feeling after I realised what I had done. It is going to be a big confidence boost to play with these big names.
"The first goal was to make the tournament but I feel I can make the top 20 or 30.
"It’s obviously always been a dream to play the Open. It’s proof that people can do it and why people enter.
"It’s very, very surreal to be honest."
David Spencer, Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club's general manager, said members were backing Forgan in his major debut.
He added: "It's a fairytale for him and brilliant news for the club. I think the last one from the club to play in the Open was 30 or 40 years ago.
"He's a really nice chap and the whole club will be rooting for him.
"It's a big event and we would be delighted if he could make the cut. This is like Felixstowe getting through to the latter stages of the FA Cup."