Former Augusta State Jaguar makes British Open field

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INVERNESS, Scotland - Luke Donald enjoyed the perfect warmup for this week's British Open with a flawless 9-under 63 to win the rain-shortened Scottish Open by four strokes, his first victory since becoming the world's top-ranked player in May.

British Open hopefuls Scott Jamieson, of Scotland, and Mark Tullo, of Chile, finished in a seven-way tie for third.

However, it was 203rd-ranked Jamieson, a former Augusta State golfer, who made a birdie at the last hole to secure the available qualifying spot for the year's third major - by virtue of having a higher ranking than Tullo by 29 places.

"It was the first putt I had all day that I was really confident on my read, and it just reached the hole," said Jamieson, who will play at his first major. "It's not registered yet, to be honest."

Donald, a 33-year-old English­man, started the third and final round a shot behind a trio of joint leaders but rolled in nine birdies in a majestic bogey-free display at Castle Stuart.

With only a light wind leaving the links course defenseless, Donald romped home with a winning total of 19-under, ahead of Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed (62).

His eighth professional title - and third this year - didn't just cement his top ranking, which he secured for the first time nearly two months ago by beating compatriot Lee Westwood in a playoff for the PGA Championship on his last appearance in Europe.

It also provided the ideal tonic ahead of the British Open at Royal St. George's starting Thursday, where he'll attempt to land his first major.

Champions Tour: In Pebble Beach, Calif., Jeff Sluman shot 2-under 70 and overcame a pair of bogeys on the back nine, holding on to win the First Tee Open for the third time.

On a day when most of the leaders struggled just to break even, Sluman had five bogeys and closed with three consecutive pars to finish at 10-under 206 and seal his first victory since winning here in 2009. He also took the title at Pebble Beach in 2008, making Sluman the only three-time winner of this event.

Jay Haas entered the final round with a two-stroke lead, but struggled all afternoon and had 75 to finish in a three-way tie for second. David Eger (72) and Brad Bryant (73) joined Haas at 208.

Montgomerie to miss year's third major

The British Open will be without Colin Montgomerie for the first time since 1989 after the veteran Scot ran out of steam at the Scottish Open on Sunday.

The former European Ryder Cup captain needed a top-five finish at Castle Stuart to stand a chance of making Thursday's tournament in Sandwich, England, and he briefly held a share of the lead following a birdie at the par-5 sixth hole.

However, a disastrous double-bogey on the short 11th - which came after he missed the green with his tee shot and then fluffed a short chip - not only cost him a shot at victory in the Highlands but also an opportunity to seal his Open place.

After bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14, Montgomerie responded by making three consecutive birdies, but a final-round 70 wasn't enough. He must now wait until Lytham St. Anne's in 2012 for another chance to win the Open.

- Associated Press


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