The Open Championship Tom Gillis a reluctant The Open Championship qualifier

With just a passport and no sweaters at hand, Tom Gillis is preparing for an unexpected trip to Scotland.

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Tom Gillis said his hunger to qualify for The Open Championship intensified only with his challenge at the John Deere Classic.

The 46-year-old got as close as ever to his maiden PGA Tour title on Sunday, denied only by Jordan Spieth in a play-off at TPC Deere Run - but his efforts earned him a trip to St Andrews.

Gillis, who has played in two previous Opens in 1999 and 2008, said the prospect of jet-setting to Scotland for the major in four days' time was one he was not prepared for.

"I said I wasn't going if I got a spot. I think I was just talking big," Gillis told a news conference, with a laugh.

"But I spent five years over there [on the European Tour], and went back and forth.

"[I] laboured heavily [for] five years all over the world. So I kept saying all week, 'I'm past that chapter in my life. I wouldn't go if I got that spot'.

"Then I find myself looking at that board thinking, 'Man, I wouldn't mind getting that spot'.

"So I'm like, I don't have any sweaters, I have nothing. I have a passport, but that's it.

"I've been over there, I know it's crazy that week.

"But the next couple days I'm going to be pretty tired, just the whole up and down and the flight and the lag, and I haven't dealt with jetlag in a while.

"But it's very exciting overall. It's the home of golf."

Gillis was forced to withdraw on his Open debut at Carnoustie in '99 after injuring his wrist in a first-round 90, before a tied for 58th finish seven years ago at Royal Birkdale.

He is set for his first major appearance since missing the cut at the 2011 PGA Championship.

It is a fitting present for Gillis, who will tee off at St Andrews on his 47th birthday.

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