Thanks to Lefty’s playoff victory over Branden Grace Sunday at the Scottish Open, Stallings earned his way into the British Open as an alternate.
Stallings a 28-year-old from Worcester, Mass., who now lives in Knoxville, Tenn., will pass up the defense of his Sanderson Farms Championship title to make his first start in an Open Championship. With two positions open for the winners of the Scottish Open and John Deere Classic, Stallings got in when Mickelson -- who was already in the field for this week’s major in Scotland -- walked off with the W at Castle Stuart.
“It’s with mixed emotions that I will not be able to return to Madison to defend my title at this year’s Sanderson Farms Championship,” Stallings, who missed the cut at last week’s PGA Tour tilt at TPC Deere Run, told PGATour.com. “The decision was a difficult one, but as I pursue my dream of a major championship title, I’ve decided to go for the chance to compete in the Open Championship.
Stallings won last year’s Sanderson Farms (formerly the True South Classic) event for his second tour win. He also made the U.S. Open for the first time this year as an alternate and finished 53rd.