Love qualifies for British Open

Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III was among eight players who

qualified for the British Open on Monday, giving him a spot in all

four majors for the first time since 2007.

Brian Davis of England was the medalist at Gleneagles Country

Club with a 6-under 64, while Chad Campbell finished one shot

behind. The 36-hole qualifier was reduced to 18 holes because of

heavy rain that caused a six-hour delay.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia, 31, withdrew because of an infected

fingernail on his left hand that made it difficult for him to grip

the club. Garcia has played in every British Open since he was an

amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998.

The British Open will be played July 15-17 at Royal St.

George’s.

Love, who tied for fourth when the British Open was held at

Royal St. George’s in 2003, was in the group of qualifiers at 66

that included Nathan Green, Spencer Levin, Chris Tidland and Bob

Estes.

Jerry Kelly, who had a 67, earned the last spot in a six-for-one

playoff, beating out Justin Hicks. It at least will give Kelly a

shot at redemption at Royal St. George’s, where in 2003 he made an

11 on the opening hole with four shots that traveled about 15 feet

in the thick rough. Kelly wound up with an 86 and had to withdraw

with a wrist injury.

Davis had a 68-68 weekend at Royal St. George’s in 2003 and tied

for sixth, his best finish in a British Open. In the International

Final Qualifying event Monday, he had six birdies in a bogey-free

round that left little doubt of his return to England.

”I had a really good ball-striking round today and any mishit

shot I had went straight, so you know you’re playing good when that

happens,” Davis said.

Brandt Snedeker was among those who failed to qualify in the

playoff. He is No. 47 in the world, with the top 50 after this

week’s tournaments getting into the championship.

Others who failed to qualify included Australian Stuart Appleby,

Brian Gay, Paul Goydos and Mike Weir.

PGA Tour players still can get into the British Open over the

next few months through a special money list that includes The

Players Championship and the five consecutive tournaments through

the AT&T National; and for being the highest finisher among the

top 10 not already exempt in the AT&T National and the John

Deere Classic.

That includes Garcia, who has not missed a major dating to the

1999 U.S. Open and now risks missing two in a row. Garcia, who is

No. 73 in the world, already has said he will only play the U.S.

Open if he gets into the top 50 by June 13.

”I couldn’t grip the club properly today and it prevented me

from playing when I wanted it most,” Garcia said. ”It’s a

setback, but I’m happy with the direction my game is headed and

I’ll be looking to make up for it the rest of the season. I always

look forward to The Open Championship, and to have to withdraw

today is a huge disappointment.

”Having a problem with your finger is obviously a big issue for

a golfer.”