New Zealand golfer Steven Alker has qualified for his fourth Open Championship.

Alker has finished tied for second at one of the qualifying events in Kent to earn his place in the Open field at Royal Troon next month.

Needing to finish within the top three out of a 72-strong field in a two-round tournament, the 44-year-old shot rounds of 68 and 71, to end three strokes behind the up-and-coming Matthew Southgate and level with James Heath.

Alker last played in a major at the 2014 US Open, where he missed the cut, a year after finishing in a tie for 45th.


His best finish in a major occurred at the Open Championship, where he finished 19th in 2012 after having missed the cut in 1998 and 2007.

Alker is playing this year on the second-tier Tour in the United States, where he has recorded five top-25 finishes in his 10 starts.

He'll be joined in the field by Colin Montgomerie will play at the Open for the first time since 2010 after qualifying to play at his home course.

Alker will join Danny Lee as New Zealanders in the field.

The Open Championship starts on July 14.