MARK Harling's Open dream is over for another year - but the Accrington golfer won't give up.
For the third time, he missed the final qualifiers - where he would have lined up alongside past masters - by just one shot as he attempted to go all the way to the Open at Royal St George's in Kent.
"I am gutted and so disappointed. I will try again though and I will do it," said the 35-year-old.
The Accrington assistant professional was at Stockport in the regional qualifying heat on Monday. He has missed out by one shot at Stockport last year and Wilmslow in the past.
He said: "I was fairly solid but I dropped two shots in the first three holes. On the second I was behind a little tree so I had to chip it sideways onto the fairway and on the third it hit the back of a bunker and went into the woods. But I was still one-under and doing okay until the 16th where I dropped another shot."
There were only a small number of qualifiers from more than 150 competing at the 71-par Stockport course and Harling finished on 72. The two leaders went round in 66.
"I did get called back for a play-off as I think a player must have been disqualified but I had to be back in 15 minutes and I was already at home. But I will just have to do it next year now. The regional qualifiers are at Pleasington and I know that course well enough so I am not going to give up."
His friend Mark Ashworth was competing in his first Open qualifiers at Alwoodley in Leeds, also on Monday.
The amateur had got down to scratch this year and was just going to enjoy the experience, finishing on 76 - four shots from a play-off spot.
"I was undone on the 16th," admitted the 35-year-old who owns Lee Valley Driving Range. I carded a seven and it's years since I have done that! I dropped three shots there and that was it," said Ashworth who finished in the top 40 out of the 150 there. But it was a brilliant day and a great experience to be lined up alongside some good golfers - I will be giving it another go."
However he can take heart from his record-breaking exploits at the weekend.
He smashed the course record at Wilpshire Golf Club - taking it off British amateur champion Gary Wolsten-holme. Ashworth went round in 62 in the Wilpshire Trophy - beating the previous record by three shots.
He said: "I am happy with that! As long as I hold the course record I can use it for free which is handy. I was on fire for some reason - I just wish I could have repeated it at the Open qualifying!"