Joohyung Kim cannot wait to play in The 150th Open at St Andrews in July, having had to wait longer than anticipated for his debut in golf’s original Championship.
The 19-year-old was one of four players, together with Sadom Kaewkanjana, Yuto Katsuragawa and Sihwan Kim, who secured a trip to the Home of Golf at the SMBC Singapore Open, part of The Open Qualifying Series.
For Joohyung Kim, securing a place in the landmark 150th Open was particularly sweet. Two years ago, a fourth-place finish in Singapore earned him a spot in The 149th Open, but he was ultimately unable to compete at Royal St George’s due to international travel requirements related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was supposed to go to The Open last year, but because of the travel situation I wasn’t able to go, which was so disappointing,” said Kim.
“I thought it would be really cool if I could have my first Open at St Andrews and it’s happening, so you won’t catch me missing that one!”
Kim and Katsuragawa finished as the joint runners-up on this occasion in Singapore, as Thailand’s Sadom produced a superb performance to win by three with a total of 13 under at Sentosa Golf Club’s majestic Serapong Course.
After securing his second career title on the Asian Tour, Sadom can now look forward to an enticing major debut.
“I am very excited to be playing my first major at the home of golf, St Andrews. It is very special to me,” he said.
“It is such a special year as the 150th Open. I will work hard and practice hard as I will be playing with the best golfers in the world.”
In the immediate aftermath of his qualification, Katsuragawa was struggling to take in what he had achieved.
“It is my dream to play in The Open,” said the Japanese. “I never actually thought that I would be able to qualify so it has still not actually settled in for me, it is very fresh still and very surprising.
“I’m really excited to play St Andrews. It will be one of the highlights of my golfing career being able to participate at such a special championship and The 150th anniversary.”
Sihwan Kim, who claimed fourth position at Sentosa to secure the final qualifying place, will also be making his Major Championship debut in St Andrews.
“It feels so good to be playing my first major,” stated the American. “I’ve played St Andrews a couple of times before. It’s pretty special to be going back there and for The 150th, so it’s pretty cool.”