SANDWICH, England -- Tore Sviland will achieve his lifetime ambition and a place in golf's record books Thursday when he becomes the first Norwegian ever to play in the British Open Championship.
Sviland, 23, an economics student and still an amateur golfer, came through the final qualifying round for the right to play in the $450,000 Open at the Royal St Georges Course alongside the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Gary Player.
There are only three 18-hole courses in Norway and only 4,000 golfers, but Sviland, who lives in Stavanger, explained, 'Ever since my father first drove me to a golf course when I was 12 years old, I have wanted to be the first Norwegian to play in the Open.
'I still cannnot believe it. Playing in the world's greatest golf championship means a lot to me, but it means much more to Norway. I hope my being here will make the Norwegian public aware not only of the Open, but also of the game of golf.'
Sviland, one of a record 23 amateurs in the championship, can only play for five months during the year before snow blankets the course in his hometown.