Kolon Korea Open winner and runner-up to receive exemptions into The Open
The winner and runner-up of the 2017 Kolon Korea Open will receive exemptions into The Open, golf’s most international major championship.
The winner and runner-up of Korea’s national Open will become the first champion and runner-up in the event’s history to receive the exemption, and will earn a place in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale next year.
First played in 1958, the tournament has produced notable winners over the years including K.J Choi, Thongchai Jaidee, Sergio Garcia, John Daly, Vijay Singh, Y.E Yang, Sangmoon Bae and Rickie Fowler. Daly’s success in Korea came eight years after he became Champion Golfer of the Year at The Open in 1995. Sir Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy, who are previous winners of The Open, have also played in the Korea Open.
The tournament is mainly organised by Korea Golf Association and co-sanctioned with the OneAsia Tour.
“We are delighted to offer places in The Open for the winner and runner-up of the Kolon Korea Open beginning with next year’s Championship at Royal Birkdale,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A.
“The Open brings together the best players from around the world and is a truly global celebration of golf. Korea is a strong golfing nation and these new exemptions will create added incentive for the golfers competing in this historic tournament.”
Dominic Wall, Director – Asia Pacific at The R&A, added, "The R&A is committed to developing the huge potential of the game in this region and these new exemptions will create more opportunities for professional golfers in this part of the world to qualify for The Open.”
Kwang-soo Hur, President of the Korea Golf Association, said, “These exemptions for The Open will be vital in rapidly raising the level of the Korea Open and Korean men’s golf in general to the level of our women.
“All Korean golfers will be very proud of and grateful to The Open for this most welcome decision.”
The 2017 Korea Open will be played from 1 – 4 June at Woojeong Hills Country Club in the South Chungcheong Province.