The Open: Matthew Southgate fights again tears after qualifying

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Englishman Matthew Southgate has been hooked up to the Open Championship for many years.

So it isn’t a surprise that he displayed such emotion after qualifying for this yr’s Open at Royal Troon, which can mark his 6th look in golfing’s oldest main. Southgate carded a 6-under 136 over 36 holes at Royal Cinque Ports to take house medalist honors by means of 3 pictures on the Southeast England qualifier.

“Sorry,” Southgate mentioned, preventing again tears.

“Simply rings a bell in my memory of my Dad. The Open is the best possible.”

His father, Ian, who unfortunately kicked the bucket in past due 2020, beloved The Open nearly up to his son. He grew keen on Tom Watson within the Seventies when the American started to dominate links-style golfing in earnest. The elder Southgate additionally held a club at Carnoustie, the place Watson gained his first Open in 1975. Ian Southgate knew everybody on the path and had for years, and is the reason why 10-year-old Matthew watched Jean van de Vedle’s notorious 1999 cave in play out from one of the vital famend puts in golfing.

“The marshalls referred to as me and my pals over to take a seat at the Barry Burn bridge,” Southgate informed the World Golfing Submit finally yr’s Open at Royal Liverpool.

“My legs have been dangling over the water as I watched the entirety occur.”

The Open, Jean Van de Velde

Jean van de Velde stands within the Barry Burn in 1999.
Getty Photographs

His Open championship recollections as a teen don’t finish there.

A decade later, when Watson held the 54-hole lead at The Open, the Southgate father-son duo were given of their automobile on Saturday night time and drove as much as Turnberry. They might now not omit the danger to peer their favourite participant make historical past.

Alas, Watson fell simply in need of Stewart Cink in a playoff. However Southgate has long past directly to make various Open recollections since then.

He first certified for The Open in 2014 at Royal Liverpool, the place he overlooked the reduce. However two years later, he tied for twelfth at Royal Troon. Then he tied for 6th at Royal Birkdale, which noticed Jordan Spieth win the Claret Jug. He earned an invitation again to The Open in 2018—held at Carnoustie—however tied for 67th. A minimum of he made the reduce.

However that will be the closing Open his father would see him play.

Matthew Southgate, The Open

Matthew Southgate all through 2024 Ultimate Qualifying for The Open
Picture by means of Tom Dulat/R&A by means of Getty Photographs

Southgate didn’t qualify for The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, after which, 12 months later, the R&A canceled their marquee match as a result of the pandemic. Southgate additionally overlooked out on 2021 and 2022, however he joined the Open radio remark staff for the one hundred and fiftieth Open, lending his point of view about what performed out on the Previous Path.

Humorous sufficient, this yr, after qualifying, he joked about his broadcasting enjoy.

“That’s why I attempted so laborious during the last 5 holes; I didn’t need to paintings it once more,” Southgate mentioned, which drew various laughs on The Open radio broadcast.

“No, I will’t wait to peer everyone. Troon is a paranormal golfing path.”

Southgate additionally certified for The Open closing yr at Royal Liverpool and performed neatly. He tied for twenty third.

However the Englishman has now not been at his perfect all over 2024. His perfect end got here on the ISPS Handa Championship in Japan in April, when he tied for 18th. He has now not made a reduce at the DP International Excursion since then.

“I’ve had any such difficult time the closing couple of months, however I performed in reality neatly lately,” Southgate mentioned.

“It’s been crisis after crisis, so that you can after all get one thing to head proper simply approach the entirety.”

Now, he’s going to play in The Open at Royal Troon for the second one time, the path the place Watson gained his fourth Claret Jug in 1982. So, in all probability Southgate—like Todd Hamilton and Ben Curtis previous this Millenium—can proceed to play in addition to he did in qualifying, surprise the sector, and win The Open as an final longshot.

Irrespective of what occurs, his father will smile down upon him with nice satisfaction, understanding that his son has already completed such a lot.

Jack Milko is a golfing team of workers author for SB Country’s Taking part in Thru. Make certain to take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golfing protection. You’ll be able to apply him on Twitter @jack_milko as neatly.



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