Cheonan, Korea: Choi Min-chel and Park Sang-hyun secured their places in The 147th Open after qualifying at the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.
The Kolon Korea Open is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Korea Golf Association and was making its first appearance in The Open Qualifying Series, which gives players the chance to book their place at Carnoustie from July 19-22.
Both Choi and Park will tee it up in The Open at the famous Scottish links after finishing as the leading two players in the top eight and ties who were not already exempt.
Choi was in fine form during the third round, rolling in eight birdies to post a seven-under-par 64, the low round of the championship. It set the foundation for a real shot at his first ever professional win and he didn’t disappoint the home crowd who were cheering him on by closing out the tournament with a final round 69, two-under-par, to win on a 12-under total of 272.
The Korean, who recorded three runner-up finishes on the Korean Tour last year, will make his Major championship debut when he starts alongside the world’s best golfers at Carnoustie next month.
Choi said: “I am absolutely honoured to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me the opportunity. I don’t know much about Carnoustie, only what I have seen on television. I know it can be very windy and very challenging with the fairways and bunkers but I am looking forward to playing on a links course.”
Park’s superb final round 66, five-under, means that he will join his compatriot in making his first appearance in The Open. The six-time Korean Tour winner fired five birdies in a bogey-free final round to finish two shots back in second place on 10-under 274.
He said: “It is a great honour to have qualified for The Open. I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified. It’s amazing.
“I know that Carnoustie is a very challenging course so I will need to carefully prepare for The Open. I still have a few events coming up and hopefully they will prepare me for giving my best performance at Carnoustie. I’m really looking forward to it.”