CLITHEROE Golf Club has earned praise from Open Golf chiefs following Monday’s qualifying event at the East Lancashire course.

More than 100 golfers teed off bidding to be one of the 10 that qualified but the tricky Ribble Valley course was too much for some with a third of the field returning scores of 80 or above.

Indeed only four broke par with South African Nicolaas Arnoldi heading the field.

But depsite the tricky nature of the course, Royal & Ancient Golf Club officials, who run the qualifying for the Open, were full of praise for Clitheroe.

Tournament director Charlie Maran paid tribute to the course officials and head greenkeeper Andrew Geddes for the quality of the course.

Maran said: “I can honestly say that none of the other qualifying courses around the country were better prepared than Clitheroe.

“The immense help from the volunteers amongst the membership has made a significant contribution to the success of the day.”

The praise will aid Clitheroe’s course for staging high-profile events in the future.

Pleasington amatuer Jonathan Hurst was the only local qualifer as he finished in second spot.

Hurst now travels to the final qualifying round bidding to keep his Open dream alive.