Keith Mitchell and Wyndham Clark qualified for The 150th Open through their performances at the RBC Canadian Open, as Rory McIlroy produced a stunning display to defend his title at St George’s Golf & Country Club.
Part of The Open Qualifying Series, the Canadian Open offered spots in next month’s landmark Championship at St Andrews to the leading two finishers not already exempt in the top eight and ties.
Mitchell and Clark tied for seventh to seal those berths, with the six men above them on the leaderboard having already booked their places in The 150th Open.
On a thrilling day of low scoring, McIlroy – the Champion Golfer of 2014 at Royal Liverpool – closed with an eight-under 62 to finish on 19 under, two clear of Tony Finau (64) and four ahead of Justin Thomas (64).
Sam Burns (65) and Justin Rose were fourth on 14 under, the latter carding a truly remarkable 60 that featured three eagles and a trio of bogeys, including a dropped shot at the last that denied the Englishman a 59.
Corey Conners (62) was sixth on 12 under, while rounds of 66 and 69 respectively proved enough for Mitchell and Clark to earn trips to St Andrews as they shared seventh place with Chris Kirk, who had previously qualified through The Open Qualifying Series at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Clark was in contention for the title when he birdied six of the first 11 holes to reach 15 under. Although he then faltered over the closing stretch, a one-under 69 nevertheless ensured he will make his Open debut at the Home of Golf.
Mitchell, meanwhile, can celebrate a third success through The Open Qualifying Series in as many attempts, having previously made it to both The 148th Open and The 149th Open courtesy of strong performances at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The next event in The Open Qualifying Series is the KOLON Korea Open, taking place from June 23-26, while further places in The 150th Open can be secured at Final Qualifying, the Horizon Irish Open, John Deere Classic, Genesis Scottish Open and Barbasol Championship.