Kinoshita will celebrate his 30h birthday on the second day of his Open Championship debut.
He secured his place with birdies on the final two holes of the 2020 SMBC Singapore Open sanctioned by the Japanese and Asian Tours. They took him into a tie for sixth and, with top three Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose and Jazz Janewattananond already exempt, that was just good enough for one of the four spots on offer in the third leg of The Open Qualifying Series.
“It’s amazing,” said the player who was ranked 368th in the world at the time. “Now I have to really prepare myself for Royal St George’s.” He made it his target to be at an Open while still in his twenties, but the cancellation of the 2020 Championship meant he achieved it by the skin of his teeth.
Kinoshita almost made it to Royal Portrush in 2019, finishing joint fifth in the Mizuno Open, where there were also four places available. He has yet to win on his home circuit, his closest near-miss coming in the 2014 Dunlop Srixon Fukushima Open when he was part of a five-way tie for second two strokes behind Satoshi Kodaira.