Okayama, Japan: Taichi Teshima won the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open, earning a place in the 144th Open at St Andrews along with fellow-Japanese Shinji Tomimura and Tadahiro Takayama and of Australian Scott Strange .
A final round three-under-par 69 at JFE Setonaikai Golf Club took Teshima to 15-under-par for the championship and gave him a two-shot victory over Strange who finished as runner-up.
The victory is the 46-year-old’s eighth win on the Japan Golf Tour and he is now set to make his third appearance at The Open after playing in 2001 at Royal Lytham & St Annes and 2002 at Muirfield.
“It’s been 13 years since I last played in The Open. The Old Course at St Andrews is really very special. It has such a great history and I am really looking forward to playing there in July,” said Teshima.
Strange carded a one-under 71 to close out the championship on 13-under. The 38-year-old from Perth has won twice on both the European Tour and the Asian Tour and has now secured a second appearance at The Open after making his debut at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
Strange said: “I have played the Old Course a few times at the Dunhill Links but never The Open. Last time in 2008, I played under the duress of my sister passing away so I don’t really recall too much. For this trip though I’ve already had my mate over there texting me all week: ‘You have got to get into The Open because I’m on your bag!’ So I’m really looking forward to it.”
Tomimura carded his second consecutive five-under 67 in the final round to finish on 11-under alongside compatriot Takayama.
The 24-year-old from Okinawa earned his best finish on the Japan Golf Tour this week and will make his Major championship debut at the Home of Golf from July 16-19.
Takayama posted a two-under 70 to secure his fourth start in The Open. The five-time Japan Tour winner played in the 2011 Open at Royal St George’s and the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes with his best finish in golf’s oldest championship coming at St Andrews in 2005 where he finished tied 23rd.
Hanoi, Vietnam: Le Hoang Phuong, a respected figure in golf in Vietnam, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to the Asian Golf Industry Federation.