In-form Belt sets sights on reaching The Open

Alex Belt
Alex Belt

Bridlington’s Alex Belt is full of confidence as he aims to book a place in the Open tomorrow.

He heads to the Hillside club in Southport, Merseyside, looking to secure a spot in golf’s most prestigious competition.

Over the 36 holes on the links course, he will need to finish in the top three to earn the right to play in the 145th Open at Royal Troon next month.

He said: “Things are going well. I have always been a player who has been quite good at maintaining a run of form, whereas some players don’t know how to build on success.

“But I have a great team of people around me and in the past I have been good at accelerating form, and I feel there’s still plenty in the tank.”

Belt, who represents Snainton Golf Centre, tees off his first round at 7:30am, and he has been drawn alongside Gary Houston from Carden Park and Australia’s Jason Scrivener. The second round gets underway at 1:15pm.

“I have got to this stage six or seven times but not got to the Open. It’s such a tough thing. Only three out of 75 go through from the four courses - it’s so difficult and it is getting harder.

“I have never really regarded myself as a lucky golfer, but you need a bit of luck to get through. With the nature of golf you can hit perfect shots and get a bad outcome and vice-versa.

“Getting to the Open would be the ultimate bonus. Playing at the Masters would be the ultimate because it means you are in the top 50 in the world, but qualifying for the Open would be amazing.”

Belt played in the PGA Championships at Wentworth last year and his performances last season meant he joined Open qualifying at the final stage.

He is hoping to play a practice round at Hillside today and find a Merseyside caddie who knows the course so he can tap into their local knowledge.

He heads to Open qualifying in tremendous form, after winning the Yorkshire PGA Championships on Friday. He carded a 66 in Thursday’s opening round to put himself three shots clear at the halfway stage.

And that lead was stretched to five shots on the second day at the Mid Yorkshire club, as he hit a 69 to see off the challenge of nearest rivals Matt Daley of Hainsworth Park and Abbeydale’s Gareth Davies.

Fraser Kelley of Scarborough North Cliff was fifth with a total score of 142, seven strokes behind Belt.

He thanked his sponsors Lloyd Dowson, Nicholas Belt Estate Agents and Pineapple Joes for their ongoing support.