Golf duo on the Open road

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Two top golfers from the area are one step away from places in The Open Championship.

Liam Harper, from Camber Sands, and Paul Nessling, from St Leonards, will line-up in local final qualifying for the year’s third major next Tuesday.

Harper, who plays out of The Homelands course in Ashford, has been drawn at Royal Cinque Ports GC, Deal, and will begin his two rounds at 7.35am and 1.05pm. Nessling, assistant professional at Cooden Beach in Bexhill, will line-up at Rye GC and has identical start times.

The leading few players from each of the four local final qualifying venues will join the likes of world no.1 Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and new US Open champion Rory McIlroy at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, from July 14-17.

Eighteen-year-old Harper and Nessling, 21, finished tied eighth in regional qualifying at East Sussex National on Monday with rounds of 71.

Ben Nash, who is attached to Cooden Beach, is reserve 47 for local final qualifying following a 73 at the same course in Little Horsted, near Uckfield.

Luke Cornford, a Cooden member whose home club is East Sussex National, and fellow amateur James Doswell, from Highwoods, also carded 73s at ESN, but neither is on the reserve list.

Charles Giddins (Beauport Park) and Alan Tyson (Battle) had rounds of 76, while Thomas Wraight (Rye) shot a 79 at The London Club, missing out on the last of the 17 spots up for grabs by seven shots.

The full articles will appear in Friday’s Observers.