No ordinary Joe but Open is not to be

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Golf starlet Joe Dean missed out on his dream of making The Open championship next month.

Dean, aged 17, from Killamarsh, was one of five local players hoping to qualify for the third major championship of the year at Royal St George’s in Kent from July 14-17.

Thunderstorms delayed play at the four qualifying courses in the south east yesterday but when the clouds cleared none of the five will tee-up next to Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.

Dean, a sixth form student at Eckington school, had the lowest score of the day from the area - ending his two rounds at four over par at the Rye golf club.

He says it will be strange to swap the links for lessons today: “It will be a bit different but everyone knows what I’ve been doing.

“My phone has never stopped. I had to turn it off halfway round the course.”

Whether that’s Royal and Ancient etiquette or not is incidental, but one things for certain Dean will be a stronger player for playing in The Open qualifiers.

He said: “This was all about experience. I kind of accepted that I would have to play really well to get through.

“I’m happy with how I played but I learned a lot from being around such good players. Their general consistency is something I need to achieve.”

The Yorkshire Amateur championship at Scarborough is next for Renishaw Park member Dean who shot rounds of 69 and 71 at Rye.

Also at Rye, Scott Campbell of Hallowes ended five over after a 67 and a 74.

Stefan Priest of Hallowes was 15 over after rounds of 77 and 82 at Royal Cinque Ports and Kevin Crossland of Worksop didn’t fair much better with a 78 and 77 at the same course for 11 over.

Daniel Wasteney from Bondhay was six over at Princes following rounds of 73 and 77.