Aussie golf tees up final spot at British Open

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter

A 72nd-hole meltdown from Callum Shinkwin helped, too, at the Scottish Open.

He set up the birdie with a 3-wood to 8 feet from 275 yards on his second shot at the par-5 18th, having almost found a burn running alongside the green with a similar shot in regulation play.

"I'm absolutely pumped to be playing in my first major, it's taken a while but I finally got there", Dodt said. After taking the one-shot penalty, he missed a 4-footer and made a double bogey.

He also secured himself a spot in the field for this week's British Open. Course: Dundonald Links. Purse: $7 million.

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"Because I think the driver he hit and the second shot he hit into 18, they were just two great shots".

Six successive pars had kept Shinkwin in touch, but he came to life at the seventh with a birdie and followed that up with two more at the eighth and ninth, all with relatively short putts after some excellent iron play. He laughed and held his face in his hands, knowing he had dropped into a playoff with his only bogey in a round of 68.

He finished the day level with Australian Andrew Dodt, Irishman Padraig Harrington, American Matt Kuchar and Englishman Anthony Wall.

The pair returned to the 18th to decide the tournament via a sudden-death playoff. However, after finding the fairway with his tee shot, he opted not to lay up and instead left himself with an awkward chip shot over the greenside bunker.

"It's all a learning curve and obviously if you win, you have to have luck on your side".

"I'm a leaderboard watcher", Poulter said.

"I actually missed nine cuts in a row actually". "It's been a big goal of mine to play my first major and it's great news". End of the day, I am more than happy to finish second even if the win was on my mind.

Meanwhile, at the sublime Southport links, the world's top four golfers all took advantage of a sunny, breezy day to work on their games.

"Attitude is everything, I think".

Unlike his two rivals, Poulter has already qualified for next week's Open at Royal Birkdale - a major in which the Englishman finished second at the same venue in 2008 - as has compatriot Andy Sullivan, who is the trio's closest challenger, two strokes back in outright fourth.

Joining Shinkwin at Royal Birkdale next week are Matthieu Pavon, who finished third on ten-under-par, and Aussie Andrew Dodt, who now has to cancel a holiday to NY with his girlfriend.

Rachel Dodt arrived from Sydney and into a rain and windswept Glasgow Airport on Saturday morning, largely packed for a five-day holiday in summery NY and possibly a last overseas holiday before the couple tries to start a family.

"I played the same all the time", he said with a smile.

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