Ranked 850th in the world when he finished runner-up to Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond at the Kolon Korea Open on June 23.
Two Royal Portrush spots were on offer with the tournament part of The Open Qualifying Series and, with Janewattananond already exempt, Hwang and Dongkyu Jang were the pair to be rewarded. It will be a first major start for the 44-year-old, who turned professional in 2002 at the relatively late age of 27.
He picked up three victories on the Korean Tour in 2007 and 2008, the year when he also captured the Asian Tour’s GS Caltex Maekyung Open after a play-off with Noh Seung-yul. That performance did not count towards their Order of Merit, however, as he did not play enough tournaments for membership.
His last success was the 2017 Hyundai Insurance KJ Choi Invitational, this time in a three-man play-off with Sunghoon Kang and Minchel Choi. “The Open was a championship I grew up watching on television and always wanted to play in, so to qualify is unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a great honour to be playing in my first major, something that all golfers dream about, and I’m really looking forward to playing at Royal Portrush.”