A host of Lancashire golfers have moved a step closer to a coveted spot in The Open at Carnoustie later this month.
Longridge’s Mark Young, fresh from his PGA EuroPro Tour victory last time out finished out in front at the Fairhaven regional qualifying event on Monday.
He was one of five players to top the leaderboard with a level par 72, Lancaster’s Adam Stone and James Robinson from Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club alongside him.
Young, a three-time Lancashire amateur championship and five-time Northern Order of Merit winner, made his only Open appearance at St Andrews back in 2015, missing the cut.
He sealed his place with an impressive eagle on the closing par five having also made birdies on the third and 14th holes.
Stone came up short in final qualifying last year and will be hoping to go one better this time around.
Having played college golf in California, he has been plying his trade on the PGA Latinoamerica Tour which has recently seen him play in Argentina.
Stone’s round included three birdies and three bogeys, one on the last denying the Lancaster man what would have been the only under par round of the day.
Phillip Kelly from Lytham was a shot further back as 12 golfers in total progressed.
Clitheroe’s Mark Ashworth, a former Lancashire county champion, finished on two over par while amateur Callan Barrow from Royal Lytham and St Annes was amongst those to sneak in with a 75.
Andrew Palmer missed out with four over par seeing him finished tied for 14th, the Chorley man taking his place on an extensive reserve list.
Fairhaven was one of 13 regional qualifying events with the final stage taking place at four courses on July 3, one of which is another Fylde coast venue in St Annes Old Links.
Just three players from each of the events next Tuesday will take their place at Carnoustie with golf’s biggest tournament running from July 19 to 22.
Former Open champion Paul Lawrie will miss the tournament’s return to the Angus links - the scene of his victory in 1999.
The 49-year-old Scot has announced his season is over because of back and foot injuries.
“I am not currently able to compete at the highest level,” he said.