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Sports

Mayfair, Bryant and Perez earn spots in the British Open

| Monday, July 4, 2005

LEMONT, Ill. -- Billy Mayfair might be changing his plans for the next couple of weeks.

Mayfair's fourth-place finish at the Western Open on Sunday earned him an exemption for the British Open. Bart Bryant and Pat Perez also earned their way into golf's oldest championship, which will be played July 14-17 at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.

A final spot will be awarded after next week's John Deere Classic.

"I just was planning on playing next week at (John Deere), and if I do, I don't know if I can get over there in time and all that," said Mayfair, who shot a 3-under 68 and finished six strokes behind winner Jim Furyk. "So I've got to make a couple phone calls and make a couple quick decisions here.

"It's a good decision to have," he added. "It's a lot better than worrying about if I'm going to get in or not, that's for sure."

Players used to have to travel to Europe for qualifying tournaments, usually held the Monday before the British Open begins. But in an effort to give more players a chance to play their way in, there are now several qualifiers worldwide, as well as a special money list.

Using earnings from The Players Championship and the five most recent tournaments -- the Memorial, the Booz Allen Classic, the U.S. Open, the Barclays Classic and the Western -- the top two players who didn't already have exemptions qualified. Bryant ($990,000) began the week at the top of the list, but Mayfair wasn't even close.

His fourth-place finish Sunday earned him $240,000, though, and moved him into second place ($464,599) on the British money list. Bryant, who didn't play the Western, kept the top spot.

The third spot went to the top finisher at the Western not otherwise exempt: Perez. Perez actually finished in a tie with Brett Quigley, who also was looking for an exemption. Both shot 1-under 70s, but Perez had the lower third-round score.

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