Walker ready for 'amazing' Open
England's Sam Walker first tried to qualify for The Open in 1998 and now, 14 years later, he is finally about to make his debut in it.
The 34-year-old from Birmingham was among the 10 players who came through Monday's 36-hole qualifier at Sunningdale.
"It feels amazing and it's going to be fantastic," said Walker, who had made 10 previous attempts during a career that has included 12 trips to the European Tour qualifying school.
He had rounds of 68 and 65 the day after winning a Challenge Tour event at Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands.
Five more English players earned places at Royal Lytham next month - winner James Morrison and Matthew Baldwin will also be making their first appearances and will be joined by Ross Fisher, Richard Finch and Lee Slattery, who survived at the third hole of a play-off when Scot Alastair Forsyth missed a three-foot par putt.
The other qualifiers were Welshman Jamie Donaldson after a record-equalling 62 on the New Course, Spain's Alejandro Canizares, Australian Marcus Fraser and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.
Fraser was the player who lost the BMW International Open in Cologne on Sunday after a four-hole play-off with Danny Willett, who missed out by four shots.
Others who failed were Colin Montgomerie by a single shot, Jose Maria Olazabal by three and last year's amateur sensation Tom Lewis by nine.
There is still a spot available at each of the French and Scottish Opens, while Willett trails South African Richard Sterne by little more than £100 in a mini-money list which ends at this week's Irish Open.
Also taking place yesterday were 14 local qualifiers around Britain and Ireland.
West Ham player Gary O'Neil's bid ended at the first hurdle.
The 29-year-old midfielder managed only a 79 at The London Club in Kent.
He was among more than 1,400 players involved. The successful ones still have to negotiate 36 holes of final qualifying next Tuesday, with only 12 out of 288 players at four courses going through to Lytham.