McGuigan all set for St Andrews

Scotland’s Doug McGuigan battled through six play-off holes in Cape Town today to secure a coveted automatic place in this year’s Open Championship.

Veteran South African David Frost had booked the first of the three places on offer, posting a 76 in the wind to end three-under for the two days and make it back to The Open for the first time since 2000.

After finishing in joint second place at the international final qualifying tournament, on two-under-par 142, McGuigan went up against Swiss golfer Andre Bossert and South African Tjaart van der Walt as the trio fought it out for the two remaining invitations to St Andrews.

Bossert took second place after two holes of the play-off at the Atlantic Beach Golf Club, leaving McGuigan and Van der Walt – who both carded second rounds of 73 – to contest the last spot.

Van der Walt finally cracked on the sixth play-off hole, missing a three-foot putt to give McGuigan his guaranteed place.

The Durban-born Scot is hoping for a bit of “local support” at St Andrews and will be flying his father – who has not been back to Scotland for 30 years - up for the tournament.

“I’ve played three rounds there in tournaments and it has treated me well, let’s hope it can stay that way,” said 34-year-old McGuigan.

Frost, 45, will return to St Andrews for the first time since 2000 to keep alive his dream of winning a major.

But after his course record 65 on day one, the wind bit hard today and sent the scores into the high 70s and 80s for most competitors.

Frost was happy to have secured his place for St Andrews but admitted the wind had made his task a real struggle.

“Today was very difficult in the wind, I really don’t know how these members play golf here,” he said. “I’m too old for this stuff.”

“I didn’t put a number on it but I said to someone that if you shoot 75 today it is a good score.”

Other than a nine on the par-five fourth, Frost coped well with the wind to post a creditable score.

“When you play defensively all the time, you try and protect the shot as opposed to being aggressive and then the elements come into play even more because you’re not going for the aggressive shot,” said Frost.

“I hit it into the bush (on the fourth) and then chipped it on and three-putted from three feet.”

Frost is now looking forward to getting back to the hallowed ground of St Andrews and plans to give his family a holiday at the same time.

He added: “It will be nice, it’s got a great ambience and I like it there. I’ve played a lot of Dunhill Cups there and it’ll be fun going back.

“It’s good to plan your June and July because it is my kids’ summer holiday and now we can plan our holiday.

“Last time they said Tiger [Woods] didn’t hit it in one bunker, well I hit it in only one the entire week.

“So I will enjoy the course and it’ll be good to get back there.”

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