Seven more players qualify for The Open
Taichi Teshima, Scott Strange, Shinji Tomimura, Tadahiro Takayama, Søren Kjeldsen, Eddie Pepperell and Tyrrell Hatton qualify for the 144TH Open at St Andrews after today’s final rounds at the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation - Round 4
Kjeldsen, Pepperell and Hatton secure Open Places in Ireland
Søren Kjeldsen, Eddie Pepperell and Tyrrell Hatton qualified for the 144TH Open at St Andrews after today’s final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.
In blustery and showery conditions at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland, the leaders struggled to hold their ground in the final round and Denmark’s Kjeldsen, England’s Pepperell and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, who was already exempt for The Open, finished tied on two-under-par for the championship before going into a play-off.
In the end, Kjeldsen birdied the first play-off hole to win the play-off and joined Englishmen Pepperell and Hatton in securing the three places available in golf’s oldest Championship.
Kjeldsen, a three-time winner on the European Tour, led going into the final round but struggled with four dropped shots on his front nine. A birdie on the 12th steadied the ship but he dropped further shots on the 14th and the 17th to finish with a five-over-par 76.
The 40-year-old will make his seventh appearance at The Open and his second in the Championship at the home of golf after he finished tied 37th in 2010. The Dane’s best finish in The Open was in 2009 at Turnberry when he finished tied 27th.
Pepperell, who managed four top five finishes in five events on the European Tour last season, didn’t drop a single shot on his way to a final round two-under-par 69, which included birdies on the 8th and 13th holes.
The 24-year-old, who has one win on the Challenge Tour to his name, enjoyed a successful amateur career, representing England in the Eisenhower Trophy and playing for Great Britain and Ireland on three winning Jacques Leglise Trophy teams. He was runner-up to Tom Lewis in the 2009 Boys Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s. The Englishman played in the 2013 US Open at Merion but will make his debut in The Open at St Andrews.
Hatton bounced back from three bogeys on the back nine to birdie the 17th and par the last hole to finish on a one-under-par total of 283 and a tie for fourth with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello. He secured the final qualifying place in The Open by virtue of his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The 23-year-old will make his fourth appearance at The Open and his second at St Andrews after he qualified for the 2010 Open as an amateur. This is the second consecutive year that Hatton has secured a place at The Open through the Qualifying Series after finishing tied fourth at the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open to secure a place at Royal Liverpool.
Additional event information and scoring is available here.
Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open - Round 4
Teshima, Strange, Tomimura and Takayama qualify for The Open in Japan
Taichi Teshima of Japan captured the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open title on Sunday, earning a place in 144th Open at St Andrews from 16-19 July along with Australian Scott Strange and Shinji Tomimura and Tadahiro Takayama of Japan.
A final round three-under-par 69 over JFE Setonaikai Golf Club took Teshima to 15-under-par for the championship and gave him a two shot victory over Strange who earned runner-up honours. The victory is Teshima’s eighth win on the Japan Golf Tour and he is now set to make his third appearance at The Open after playing in 2001 at Royal Lytham and 2002 at Muirfield.
“It has been 13 years since I last played in The Open,” said the 46-year-old. “The Old Course at St Andrews is really very special, it has such a great history and I am really looking forward to playing there in July.”
Strange carded a one-under-par 71 on Sunday to close out the championship on 13-under-par. The 38-year-old from Perth has won twice on both the European Tour and the Asian Tour and has now secured a second appearance at The Open after making his debut at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
“I have played the Old Course a few times at the Dunhill Links but never The Open,” said Strange. “Last time in 2008, I played under the duress of my sister passing away so I don’t really recall too much. For this trip though I’ve already had my mate over there texting me all week saying ‘you have got to get into The Open because I’m on your bag,’ so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Tomimura carded his second consecutive five-under-par 67 in the final round to finish on 11-under-par alongside compatriot Takayama. The 24-year-old from Okinawa earned his best finish on the Japan Golf Tour this week and will make his Major Championship debut at the home of golf.
Takayama posted a two-under-par 70 on Sunday to secure his fourth start in The Open. The five-time Japan Tour winner played in the 2011 Open at Royal St George’s and the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham and earned his best finish in golf’s oldest championship at St Andrews in 2005 where he finished tied 23rd.
Additional event information and the leaderboard is available here.
Soren Kjeldsen leads chase for Open qualifying places ahead of final round at Irish Open
Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen carded a four-under-par 67 on Saturday to take the lead on seven-under-par at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation and is in position to earn a place in the field at the 144th Open along with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer.
Three players, who are not otherwise exempt, that finish in the top ten and ties tomorrow at Royal Country Down will secure qualifying spots in The Open Championship which will be played from 16-19 July at St Andrews.
Kjeldsen, a three-time winner on the European Tour, started strongly with a birdie on the first before adding two more on the 5th and 6th holes. A string of three birdies on 11 through 13 put him three shots clear of the field before the Dane gave back two shots on the final two holes amidst blustery conditions on the Northern Irish links. Kjeldsen , 40, is bidding to make his seventh appearance at The Open and his second at the home of golf after he finished tied 37th in 2010.
“It would be huge if I could qualify for The Open, but talking about it won’t do anything. I’m going to have to hit shots and make putts and that’s what I’m going to try and do tomorrow,” said Kjeldsen, who will tee off in the final group on Sunday with a two shot advantage over the field.
Cabrera-Bello, who celebrated his 31st birthday earlier this week, has delivered three rounds of steady play and carded a two-under-par 69 on Saturday to sit in second place at five-under alongside Kieffer. The two-time European Tour winner has played in the last three Open Championships, with his best result in 2013 at Muirfield where he finished tied 21st.
Kieffer is poised to clinch his first start in The Open and set a new course record at Royal County Down on Saturday with a six-under-par 65. The 24-year-old posted seven birdies against a single bogey and is in the hunt for his first European Tour victory after earning two top ten finishes this season at the Open de Espana and the Africa Open.
Additional event information and scoring is available here
Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open - Round 3
Teshima, Strange, Marksaeng and Takayama in position to qualify for The Open in Japan
With 18 holes left to play at JFE Setonaikai Golf Club, Taichi Teshima and Tadahiro Takayama of Japan, Scott Strange of Australia and Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand are in position to qualify for the 144th Open at St Andrews.
Four players, who are not otherwise exempt, that finish in the top 12 and ties after tomorrow’s final round will earn a place in The Open Championship which is set to be player from 16-19 July at the home of golf.
Teshima carded a six-under-par 66 on moving day to share the top spot on the leaderboard with Strange heading into the final round. The 46-year-old bogeyed the first hole before carding a string of five birdies on the front nine. He added two more on the 16th and 17th holes, missing a birdie putt on 18 for the outright lead but still delivering the low round of the day.
“Obviously if I do have a chance, I would love to go to The Open. People around me are not directly talking about it but I feel an expectation from people to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The Open,” said Teshima, who has made two previous Open appearances in 2001 and 2002.
Strange carded five birdies against a single bogey for a 68 on Saturday to share the lead at 12-under-par. The 38-year-old from Perth managed to stay at the top of the leaderboard despite a wild tee shot into the crowd on 18 that he recovered from by getting up-and-down to save par. The two-time winner on both the European Tour and the Asian Tour is bidding to make a second appearance at The Open after his debut in 2008 at Royal Birkdale.
Veteran Thai competitor Marksaeng posted a five-under-par 67 to move into position for a sixth start at The Open. The 49-year-old is an eight-time winner on the Asian Tour and has won four times on the Japan Tour including the 2008 Mizuno Open. He is tied for third place alongside Takayama, with both players sitting at nine-under-par. Takayama is a five-time Japan Tour winner and has made three starts at The Open including 2005 where he finished tied 23rd on the Old Course at St Andrews.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation - Round 2
Ramsay, Wood and Hatton hold qualifying places for St Andrews at the Irish Open
At the halfway mark of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation, Richie Ramsay of Scotland, and Chris Wood and Tyrrell Hatton of England hold the qualifying places for the 144th Open.
Friday brought a second day of mixed weather conditions as heavy rain was interspersed with sunshine on the Northern Irish links. Ramsay, who hails from Aberdeen, added a four-under-par 67 to his opening 72 to earn a share of the top spot on the leaderboard alongside Wood, Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, who is already exempt for The Open, and Soren Kjeldsen and Rafa Cabrera-Bello who do not currently hold places based on their lower positions in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Ramsay earned his third European Tour victory earlier this season at the Trophee Hassan II and is a former US Amateur champion and GB&I Walker Cup player. The 31-year-old is looking to make his Open debut close to home this July.
“If I can stay strong mentally and take a good attitude into the next two days, and my short game remains good, then winning for a second time this season and qualifying for my first Open Championship at St Andrews will come together,” he said.
“I feel as though I’ve being mentally strong for two rounds but whether or not I can secure a place in The Open all depends on the weather. It doesn’t matter if you’re out it the morning or the afternoon, it can all change dramatically.”
Wood has made five previous Open appearances including 2008 at Royal Birkdale where he earned the Silver Medal as the leading amateur, finishing tied fifth overall. A year later at Turnberry he earned his best result at The Open when he finished joint third alongside Lee Westwood. The 27-year-old from Bristol is looking for his second European Tour title this week after winning the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in 2013 and posted a two-under-par 69 on Friday to sit tied at the top of the leaderboard on three-under-par.
Hatton is bidding to make a fourth start at The Open and his second at St Andrews after he qualified for the 2010 Open as an amateur. He is looking to repeat the success he found at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2014 where he successfully earned one of the three Open qualifying places on offer for Royal Liverpool. The 23-year-old set a new course record at Royal Country Down on Friday with a five-under-par 66, climbing the leaderboard to earn a share of the lead.
Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open - Round 2
Four tied at the top in chase for Open qualifying places in Japan
Shinichi Yokota and Shugo Imahira of Japan are tied at the top of the leaderboard alongside New Zealand’s Michael Hendry and Scott Strange of Australia at the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open in Japan.
Two-time Japan Tour winner Yokota delivered the best round of the day, adding a six-under-par 66 to his opening 70 to move into a tie for the lead at eight-under-par. The 43-year-old is bidding to make his first appearance at The Open and posted seven birdies on Friday, giving one shot back on the par-3 eighth hole.
Yokota’s compatriot Imahira, 22, carded a three-under-par 69, adding to his opening 66 to share the lead in only his fifth appearance on the Japan Golf Tour. He is looking for his first professional victory as well as a place in golf’s oldest championship.
Blustery conditions in Friday’s second round translated to fewer scoring opportunities for first round leader Hendry, who added a one-over-par 73 to his opening 63, enough to hold on to a tie for the lead. The 35-year-old from Auckland carded two birdies against three bogeys to sit at eight-under-par heading into the weekend. If he can earn a qualifying place on Sunday he will make his first start in a Major Championship at St Andrews.
Strange claimed the fourth spot after 36 holes, carding a bogey-free 67 on Friday to move into position for a second appearance at The Open. The 38-year-old from Perth is a two-time winner on both the European Tour and the Asian Tour and played in the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale where he missed the cut.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation - Round 1
Kieffer, Hansen and Grillo hold qualifying places for The Open in Ireland
Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer opened the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation with a four-under-par 67 to share the top spot on the leaderboard with two-time Open Champion Padraig Harrington.
The 24-year-old Kieffer, who was in the final grouping of the day off the 10th tee, took advantage of the afternoon’s calmer conditions and posted an eagle on the 12th hole before dropping shots on 13 and 15. He gained momentum through the turn carding five birdies before giving back a shot on his second-to-last hole, finishing the day with the early lead alongside Harrington who is already exempt for The Open. If Kieffer can maintain his form and earn a place at St Andrews it will be his first appearance at The Open.
“I enjoy playing links courses and I would like to play at The Open,” said Kieffer, who has earned one victory on the Challenge Tour and has represented Europe as an amateur in the Junior Ryder Cup and the Jacques Leglise and Eisenhower Trophies. “I’m trying not to think too much about it right now by taking it day by day and shot by shot, and then we will see where I end up.”
The second Open Qualifying place is held by Denmark’s Soren Hansen, who is looking to make his eighth appearance at golf’s oldest championship. The 41-year-old from Copenhagen is in the hunt for a second Irish Open title 13 years after his first victory in 2002 and is one shot off the lead at three-under-par. Hansen’s best performances at The Open were in 2002 at Muirfield and 2009 at Turnberry where he finished tied 8th on both occasions.
Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo holds the third Open qualifying place after carding a two-under-par 69 to sit tied for fourth place alongside Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark and Danny Willett of England who is already exempt for The Open. Grillo, who has three top-ten finishes on the European Tour this season, is seeking his first start at The Open. He holds the qualifying place over Kjeldsen based on his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Additional event information and scoring is available here
Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open - Round 1
Hendry, Fujimoto, Kim and Taniguchi hold Open Qualifying Places after round one at the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open
New Zealand’s Michael Hendry carded a bogey-free 63 on Thursday at the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open to lead the chase for qualifying places for St Andrews.
Hendry came within a shot of the tournament record of -10, finishing on nine-under-par with a total of 22 putts, a personal best. The 35-year-old from Auckland won the Japan Golf Tour’s Token Homemate Cup last month and is looking to make his first appearance in a Major Championship at The Open.
Two shots off the lead is Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto who carded eight birdies and a single bogey to sit in second place at seven-under-par. The 25-year-old is a two-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour and has made one appearance at The Open in 2012 where he finished tied 54th at Royal Lytham.
“I would like to go back to The Open,” said Fujimoto. “The atmosphere is different compared to Japan and I felt added pressure because of the size of the Championship, but I enjoyed playing abroad.”
Tied for third place is veteran competitor Toru Taniguchi of Japan who has made nine previous starts at The Open. The 19-time Japan Golf Tour winner birdied his last four holes to sit three shots off the lead at six-under-par. Also in third place are Australia’s Steven Conran, Japan’s Kiyoshi Miyazato and Hidezumi Shirakata and Hyung-Sung Kim of Korea, who holds the fourth Open qualifying position based on his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking.