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VIDEO: From the factory to the fairway
A BIRKENHEAD factory worker has booked his place in The Open championship after qualifying for the competition this week.
John Singleton, from Moreton, qualified at Hillside after a four-man play-off when Yorkshire amateur Nick Marsh couldn't match par at the second extra hole.
John told the Globe he was absolutely delighted to have made it to Royal Liverpool, which is only five minutes from his home. He added a best of the afternoon 66 to his opening 72.
The 30-year-old from Moreton said: "I wasn't even in the final qualifiers to begin with. I got a phone call at the last minute, asking if I wanted to play.
"I'm delighted to get that phone call.
"There's no pressure on me, I'm just going to go and soak up the atmosphere and really enjoy the support of my family."
John, who works five days a week at resin factory AEV in Birkenhead, started playing golf when he was 10 and turned professional in February.
He is a member of Eastham Lodge Golf Club and trains at Prenton Driving Range.
Looking forward to tee-ing off on the fairway at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake later this month, he continued "I never imagined that five months after turning pro I'd be playing in the Open. It's very surreal.
"My place in the Open shows that all the hard work I've done over the years has paid off, especially as I have a full time job too.
"I leave for work at 7.30am every day and get home at around 9.30pm, after a few hours' training.
"It makes it all the more pleasing to know that I'm going to be taking part in The Open."
He was one of 12 players securing their places at The Open at the conclusion of Final Qualifying at Sunningdale, Gailes Links, Woburn and Hillside.
A total of 288 players competed for 12 places at The Open, which will be played from July 17-20.
Paul Darbyshire, owner of Prenton Driving Range, said: "John trains every day. He is a very committed lad and well-liked by everyone at the club.
"We're over the moon that he's qualified for The Open. It's a massive opportunity for himand, hopefully the sprinboard to a future career.