Eagle aims to fly into Open
GOLF by Neal Manning: KEVIN Eagle opens up a whole new world for himself next Monday when he tees up for the first time in a regional qualifier for the 130th Open Championship which starts in just over a fortnight's time at Royal Lytham.
KEVIN Eagle opens up a whole new world for himself next Monday when he tees up for the first time in a regional qualifier for the 130th Open Championship which starts in just over a fortnight's time at Royal Lytham.
The 27-year-old Rushmere member will be one of 120 players
teeing up at Northamptonshire County, one of the 16 courses being used for the regional
Holder of the course record at Rushmere with a 64 which he shot last year in the club
championship that brought his handicap down to scratch, Kevin is now able to have a crack at one of the four major championships.
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Only eight per cent of the 120 strong field, that includes both professionals and amateurs, will go through to the final qualifying stages and a chance to tee up at Royal Lytham with the stars of world golf.
This Friday Kevin will have a practice round at Northamptonshire County, a course he has never played on before, with John Wall, a Rushmere member, carrying his clubs.
Kevin said: "I was playing golf with county player Sam Debenham the other day and he said the greens at Northamptonshire County are really quick. That means I will have to hole some putts if I am to have a chance to making further progress.
"To be honest I'm not the best of putters, but it's all on the day. Whatever happens it will be a great experience."
Last year was a golden one for Kevin. He was the Suffolk Matchplay Championship, was third in the strokeplay
championship and Rushmere club champion after shooting rounds of 64 and 67.
"Last year the putts went in," said Kevin. "I got everything to click at once. This year my game's in not too bad a shape, but it's not really sparkling. But if I can hole a few putts at Northamptonshire County, then who knows what might happen."
There are three other Suffolk players joining Kevin at Northamptonshire County – Chris Bye, the assistant at Ipswich and the Woodbridge professional Adrian Hubert and assistant James Keely.
Two other Rushmere players, Danny Barton and James Wright, are playing at different venues. Danny plays at Copt Heath near Birmingham while James goes to north London with Hadley Wood his venue.
Danny will have mixed
feelings about going back to Copt Heath. Last year he was two under par after 12 holes and heading for a final qualifying spot, but blew up in the closing stages.
In 1999 James came close to making further progress, but missed out after a play-off for the final qualifying place.