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Lancashire champion Young gutted to miss out on Open chance
MARK Young believes he should be taking his place alongside Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the Open Championship later this month after ‘throwing away’ a glorious opportunity to qualify.
The 30-year-old golfer from Hurst Green was bidding to become East Lancashire’s first amateur since Accrington’s Trevor Foster in 1988 to reach the Open.
With just the top three spots up for grabs at St Annes Old Links, one of the four Local Final Qualifying venues, it looked a tall order for Young against an international field.
But the current Lancashire amateur champion was tied for joint sixth after his opening round of 69.
Despite being high up the leaderboard at the halfway though, he says his putter let him down as too many birdie opportunities had gone astray.
That left him chasing too hard in the afternoon round, and his challenge was all but over after a triple bogey at the 17th, after starting at the 10th.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Young. “I feel as though I should have qualified for the Open.
“I had a great opportunity but my putting just didn’t get going.
“I must have missed about half a dozen birdie chances in the first half.
“I managed 69 on the first 18 holes, but it could have been 63 easily.
“I was striking the ball so well but my putting let me down too many times.”
The plus-four golfer added: “I knew where I was on the leaderboard at the halfway stage but I felt as though I had to push hard for it in my second round.
“I went out of bounds on my second shot at the 17th. There was no excuse for it, it was an awful shot. I threw it all away with that.
“That basically ended it for me. There was no way of coming back from that.”
Young, a member at Longridge, gave himself the perfect platform prior to qualifying with a one-shot victory at last weekend’s Acorn Trophy at Accrington.
He increased his lead in the Cleveland Srixon Northern Order of Merit to 181 points thanks to a superb closing 65 which featured six birdies.
Young trailed first round leader Sean Doherty, who fired a 70, by two strokes at the break but the former profess-ional from Bury fell just short with a 68 for second place.