Lucas Herbert, Rikard Karlberg, Johannes Veerman and Marcel Schneider were understandably delighted after securing places in The 149th Open on Sunday.
Three spots at Royal St George’s were available to the highest-placed finishers in the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open who were not already exempt for golf’s original Championship, while an additional place was up for grabs at the Challenge Tour’s Kaskada Golf Challenge.
Herbert added his name to the Open field in emphatic fashion, completing a wire-to-wire Irish Open victory by three strokes at Mount Juliet Estate courtesy of a closing 68.
“It’s awesome when you get to play an Open Championship,” said the Australian, whose only previous appearance came at Carnoustie in 2018.
“Some of the best venues in the world (host the Championship) and they test you so much strategically. There’s always a great buzz around The Open. I’m stoked to get that start.”
While Herbert’s place at Royal St George’s never really looked in doubt on Sunday, Sweden’s Karlberg earned his spot in dramatic style thanks to a fantastic finish to his round.
As others struggled down the stretch, birdies at the 15th and 17th moved Karlberg firmly into contention for a top-three finish and left him requiring an up-and-down for par from greenside rough on the 18th.
The pressure was significant but Karlberg responded magnificently, holing his chip for another birdie to finish on 16 under, which would prove enough for solo second.
“I’m so happy,” he said. “Somehow it just popped in my mind to hole it and it went in.”
“It's awesome when you get to play an Open Championship” Lucas Herbert
Karlberg is now set to play in The Open for the third time, but Veerman will be making his debut in Sandwich – a month on from his first major outing at the U.S. Open – following his third-placed finish.
“Playing the oldest Championship in golf, it’s a dream come true,” said the American. “I feel so blessed to be playing in it.”
Schneider will also experience The Open for the first time having recorded a one-stroke victory at the Kaskada Golf Challenge, his second success on the Challenge Tour.
“It means a lot,” said Schneider of his Open qualification. “I’ve not had chance to play in it before and I will definitely enjoy it. I’m already looking forward to it.”
Daniel van Tonder was another addition to the Royal St George’s field on Sunday, making it in off the reserve list via his Official World Golf Ranking after Joo Hyung-kim withdrew due to international travel requirements.
Emiliano Grillo and Keegan Bradley had previously replaced Sung-jae Im and Si-woo Kim, who each withdrew to focus on preparing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo
The remaining five places in The 149th Open are due to be filled on Sunday, with three spots available at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, one at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge and one at the John Deere Classic.