3 July 2009, St Andrews, Scotland: Jose Maria Olazabal is expected to line up in the field at Kilmarnock (Barassie) next Monday as he attempts to qualify for the 138th Open Championship along with 287 golfers hopeful of playing their way into one of the 12 Turnberry berths available at Local Final Qualifying. Competitors will play 18 holes on both Monday and Tuesday to determine who will win a place in this year’s Open Championship – with the four places available at each of the three west coast venues: Glasgow – Gailes Links; Kilmarnock (Barassie); and Western Gailes

Olazabal will undoubtedly command attention as he attempts to ensure a 22nd Open appearance. The two-time Masters winner has played in the last two Championships at Turnberry, finishing tied 38th in 1994 and tied 16th in 1986 meaning that, should he qualify, he will have the advantage of being one of the more experienced players over the Ailsa Course.

In addition, Barassie will host two former Ryder Cup competitors, Sweden’s Per-Ulrik Johansson and Phillip Price of Wales. Johansson, the first Swede to play in the biennial team event on two occasions — he was on the winning side in both 1995 and 1997 –, has played in nine Open Championships, though his last appearance was at St Andrews in 2000.

Price won the Ryder Cup with Europe in 2002 after beating Phil Mickelson in the final day singles. The Welshman has a best Open result of tied 10th at Royal St George’s in 2003 and, like Johansson, has also competed in nine previous Opens. Both would relish the chance to make it ten at Turnberry this July.

45-year-old Ronan Rafferty, who was a serious contender at Turnberry in 1994 having posted a 66 in the second round followed by a 65 in the third, will mount his challenge at Glasgow — Gailes Links. Joining him in the field is 2009 Amateur runner-up, Sam Hutsby, who will be aiming to reach his first Open Championship after coming so close to earning an exemption last month.

Also competing are the winners of the last two Amateur Championships to have been held at Turnberry. Warren Bladon, winner in 1996, will tee-off at Barassie having comfortably progressed through last month’s Regional Qualifying. And Reinier Saxton, the 2008 winner, is scheduled to make his first attempt to reach a Major Championship as a professional, having only relinquished his amateur status a fortnight ago.

Local Final Qualifying takes place on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 July. Live scores and full reports will appear on Opengolf.com throughout the event.

The Open Championship will be held on 16 -19 July.