Asian Quartet Book Open Championship Starting Spots

Thais Prom Meesawat (far left), Jazz Janewattanananond (second left), Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto (second right) and Korean Mun Do-yeob have qualified for July’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Lagardére Sports.

Singapore: Jazz Janewattananond, Yoshinori Fujimoto, Mun Do-yeob and Prom Meesawat have secured their places in The 148th Open after qualifying at the SMBC Singapore Open.

The SMBC Singapore Open was played over the Serapong Couse at Sentosa Golf Club and was the third event in The Open Qualifying Series, which gives golfers around the world opportunities to book their place at Royal Portrush from July 18-21.

Jazz posted a final round 65 that included seven birdies to triumph at the SMBC Singapore Open for the first time, his third and biggest win on the Asian Tour, and clinch the first qualifying place for The Open.

The 23-year-old from Thailand finished on an 18-under-par total of 266 and will now make his second appearance in The Open after qualifying for the first time at last year’s SMBC Singapore Open when he earned a spot at Carnoustie.

“Playing in The Open last year was a huge moment in my career and I’m so happy to have qualified again by winning the Singapore Open. Getting a place in The Open is the best and I am looking forward to Royal Portrush. I have heard it is tough and it will be a challenge so I will need to prepare well,” said Jazz.

Fujimoto and Englishman Paul Casey, who had already secured his starting berth at Royal Portrush, finished two shots behind Jazz in a tie for second place on 268.

The 29-year-old from Japan sealed the second available place on offer for The Open this week after carding a 68 during today’s final round. He will also make his second appearance in golf’s original championship following his debut at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012.

Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto. Picture by Khalid Redza/Lagardere Sports.

He said: “I played The Open in 2012 and it was fantastic. It’s been a while since I last played in a Major championship so I am looking forward to playing alongside the best golfers in the world and testing myself against a strong field.”

Matthew Fitzpatrick finished in fourth place on 14-under-par 270 and has already qualified for The Open meaning that Korean Mun and Thai Prom earned the two remaining qualifying places after completing the tournament in a tie for fifth place on nine-under-par, a total of 275.

Mun will make his debut in The Open at Royal Portrush, his first Major championship appearance, despite posting a final round 72, while Prom made a vital birdie putt on the 72nd hole to qualify for the Championship for the first time since 2011 at Royal St George’s.

Mun said: “I am really pleased with securing a place in The Open. It will be my Major debut and I am really excited about playing at Royal Portrush. It’s amazing. I have been wanting to play in a Major championship ever since I started playing golf so my dream finally came true.

“I haven’t been to the United Kingdom before so it will be my first visit. We have some links course in Korea but I think it’s pretty different. I will be practicing my low shots to prepare myself well for it.”

Prom was equally delighted. He said: “It’s nice to be going back to play in The Open for my second appearance in a Major championship. When the putt on the last hole went in, I felt really good.

“I remember the experience of playing at Royal St George’s. It is one of the greatest Majors and I have been trying to qualify again ever since. I am happy to finally have the chance to play in The Open again.”

The next event in The Open Qualifying Series will be the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill from March 7-10.

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