Lytham golfer brave Open bid

Henry Tomlinson (winner of the Lancashire Boys' Championship) is pictured receiving his prize from county president Martin Kippax

Henry Tomlinson (winner of the Lancashire Boys' Championship) is pictured receiving his prize from county president Martin Kippax

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ROYAL Lytham & St Annes amateur golfer Henry Tomlinson made a gallant attempt at earning a place at the Open Championship in a fortnight after winning through to final qualifying for the first time.

With just three players to qualify for Royal St George’s from each of the four final qualifying competitions in Kent, Tomlinson was in dreamland as a superb 68 left him tied for second place after the first of his two rounds at Littlestone on Tuesday.

Tomlinson more than compensated for two bogeys with five birdies in a three-under round.

Sadly, he couldn’t manage a repeat performance, slipping down the leaderboard with a score of 77 in a second round split over two days.

All 36 holes should have been played on Tuesday but electrical storms put paid to that, delaying play by close to four hours.

Tomlinson dropped four shots in the nine holes he managed to complete before bad light ended proceedings.

And although he was only three shots off the pace on returning to play his back nine yesterday (Wednesday), Tomlinson dripped two more shots to finish three over for his two rounds.

He said: “I wanted to have a real go but it didn’t happen.

“But the whole experience of this event has been awesome and I will take a lot confidence from it, and my first round 68 in particular.

“My first round was pretty solid, although I had three putts from about ten feet which all lipped out, so it could have been even better. I didn’t think I played my best, even though it was a 68.”

The other Fylde players to reach final qualifying were both out of contention after disappointing opening rounds.

Phil Kelly of St Annes Old Links had two sevens in his 81, also at Littlestone, while Fairhaven’s Lee Mayers fared little better at Royal Cinque Ports, shooting 79.