Hartlepool golf ace looking to future after missing out on Open qualification

Alex Wrigley.

Alex Wrigley.

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RISING Hartlepool golf star Alex Wrigley is already looking to the future, despite missing out on qualification for the British Open.

The 22-year-old won last week’s regional Open qualifier in Berwick and went forward to yesterday’s final qualifier at St.Annes Old Links in Blackpool.

Up against 70 rivals competing for just three qualifying berths, Wrigley was in the hunt as he drew towards the end of his opening round.

However, a pair of bogeys saw him card a one-over par after 18 holes, leaving him some five shots off qualification.

Wrigley, though, decided to “attack the course” during the second and final round of the day in a bid to close that gap.

However, in the end, his daring ploy did not pay off, the Hartlepool Golf Club member finishing the day on six-over.

But Wrigley has no regrets.

“It was a great day,” he told SportMail, “But the course won in the end.

“I didn’t hit my iron shots well enough but after 15 holes I was still doing well.

“I then gave away a couple of easy bogeys and that left me chasing a little bit.

“I decided to attack it in the second round and my score (five over) was dictated by how aggressively I played.

“I knew I had to make five or six shots and so I took some risky decisions and went for it.

“It didn’t come off but it was a great experience and I’m all the better for it.”

Wrigley gave up his full-time job as a golf coach three months ago and is now bidding to make it on to the European Tour.

And, after handling the nerves of playing in front of yesterday’s bumper crowd and up against an experienced field, Wrigley feels he is moving the right direction.

“There was three ex Ryder Cup players in the field and some very good players,” he went on.

“So to mix it up there with them and in front of a big crowd was fantastic.

“It makes you feel like you’re moving in the right direction and makes me realise the decision I made to go full-time was definitely the right one.”

Unattached British golfers Paul Broadhurst and Barry Lane made it through to the Open, as well as Argentina’s Rafael Echenique.