Taichi Kho, Michael Hendry, Travis Smyth and Bio Kim qualified for The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool through the World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club.
To the delight of the crowd, Hong Kong's Kho secured the first qualifying place after winning the weather-disrupted tournament, which was reduced to 54 holes, on a 12-under-par total of 198. As a result, he made history on two counts, becoming the first Asian Tour winner from Hong Kong and the first player born in Hong Kong to qualify for The Open.
Kho came agonisingly close to earning a spot in The 150th Open when he finished as the runner-up in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2021, but he can now look forward to a Championship debut in July.
"Everything happens for a reason," said Kho. "The lessons I learned from two years ago, when I came in second and missed qualifying for The Open, have helped me win this week. I feel surreal, and it's a dream come true for me."
Hendry, who previously qualified for The Open in 2017 and 2018, finished two shots further back in second place to seal his spot at Hoylake, while Smyth was third on nine-under-par to also claim his place in this year’s Championship.
"I am super excited, as I haven't played a major before," said Smyth. "The Open at a links course means tough conditions and a tough major championship which I really look forward to,"
Kim and Miguel Tabuena were tied for fourth place on eight-under-par, and it was the Korean who took the final qualifying place thanks to his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Any golfer who has earned a qualifying place who then becomes exempt under one or more categories before the closing date of entries for The Open on 1 June will result in that place being awarded to the next non-exempt golfer, which will determined by a reserve list for each event played before this date.