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Positives for Aaron Rai, but the Open eludes him

Aaron Rai secured a top-10 finish on the DP World Tour – but just missed out on a qualification spot for a place at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.

Aaron Rai, of England
Aaron Rai, of England

The Wolverhampton golfer – a former Shropshire & Herefordshire junior – finished with a two-under round of 70 at the Irish Open to place in a tie for ninth overall.

Ahead of him, Adrian Meronk produced a brilliant scoring burst to become the first Polish winner in the history of the DP World Tour.

Meronk birdied the 15th and 16th and then holed from 25 feet on the par-five 17th for an eagle as he carded a closing 66 to finish 20 under par at Mount Juliet, three shots clear of New Zealand’s Ryan Fox.

South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence finished third on 16 under, with Scotland’s David Law, American John Catlin and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti sharing fourth on 15 under to claim the three places on offer in the Open.

“It’s such a relief, to be honest,” admitted Meronk, who had recorded three top-three finishes in his last six starts.

“I’ve been coming quite close a couple of times this year and to finally open the door is just a dream come true. That’s why we practice every day and I’m super happy.”

Ludlow’s Oliver Farr finished in a tie for 46th on a score of five-under.

Hawkstone Park’s Ashley Chesters and Staffordshire’s Robert Rock had missed the cut.

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