Sungjae Im, Keith Mitchell and Sung Kang qualify for 148th Open

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Sungjae Im, Keith Mitchell and Sung Kang have secured their places in The 148th Open after qualifying at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.

It was the first time that the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard has featured in The Open Qualifying Series, which gives golfers around the world opportunities to book their place at Royal Portrush from 14-21 July.

The PGA TOUR event was won by 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari after the Italian fired a magnificent bogey-free 64 in the final round to finish on a 12-under-par total of 276, two shots clear of runner-up Matthew Fitzpatrick. Both players were exempt from qualifying for The Open.

Im will make his first appearance in The Open after the Korean carded a final round 68 to finish in a tie for third place on a nine-under-par total of 279 with Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tommy Fleetwood, both of who were already exempt for The Open.

The 20-year-old, who won twice on the WEB.com Tour in 2018, recorded his third top 10 finish on the PGA TOUR this season to seal the first of three qualifying places available for Royal Portrush this week.

Mitchell and Kang will join him at the famous Dunluce Links in July after finishing in a tie for sixth place on an eight-under-par total of 280 alongside 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year Rory McIlroy and Matt Wallace.

With McIlroy and Wallace both exempt from qualifying for The Open, Mitchell and Kang claimed the two remaining qualifying places.

Mitchell earned his first PGA TOUR title at the Honda Classic last week and continued to enjoy a rich vein of form during today’s final round at Bay Hill. The 27-year-old carded eight birdies to post a 66 and book his place at Royal Portrush.

Kang will return to play in golf’s original championship for the third year running thanks to The Open Qualifying Series. The four-time Korean Tour winner qualified for The Open at the Quicken Loans National on the PGA TOUR in 2017 and 2018, and a final round 68 ensured the 31-year-old will play at Royal Portrush later this year.

The next event in The Open Qualifying Series will be The Mizuno Open which will be played at The Royal in Japan from 30 May-2 June.

Key Quotes

Keith Mitchell

“It’s amazing. It’s a championship I grew up watching and I love the courses and the set-up of The Open. I actually played Royal Portrush about 15 years ago with my dad. I don’t remember too much about it other than it was really tough.

“I love the traditions and history of The Open and the players that have won it. I went to Royal Troon in 2004 when Todd Hamilton won. I remember standing there on the back of the green waiting for autographs and Darren Clarke gave me his glove – I’ll never forget that.”

Sungjae Im

“I’m so happy to have got one of the spots for The Open. I really enjoyed playing in the US Open and the PGA Championship last year and now I get to play in The Open, which is great.

“I’ve never played in the UK before, I’ve only seen golf played there on television. It is going to be my first experience of links golf and I am really looking forward to it.”

Sung Kang

“I made a big putt on the last hole to get the spot and the opportunity to play in The Open again. I’m just going to go out and enjoy the experience like I did at Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie.

“It will be great to play in Northern Ireland as I’ve never played golf there and I’ve heard it is beautiful. It will be a lot of fun.”

 

The Open Qualifying Series (TOQS) will offer the following qualification places in The 148th Open:

 

The Open Qualifying Series Event No of Places Detail
TOQS-Australia Emirates Australian Open

15-18 November 2018

The Lakes, Sydney

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-South Africa South African Open hosted by The City of Joburg

6-9 December 2018

Randpark, Johannesburg

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-Singapore SMBC Singapore Open

17-20 January

Sentosa, Singapore

4

4 places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
TOQS-USA Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

7-10 March

Bay Hill, Orlando 

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-Japan The Mizuno Open

30 May-2 June

The Royal, Ibaraki  

4

4 places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
TOQS-Canada RBC Canadian Open

6-9 June

Hamilton, Ancaster 

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-Korea KOLON Korea Open 

20-23 June

Woo Jeong Hills, Cheonan

2

2 places to the leading two players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 8 and ties
TOQS-Spain Andalucía Valderrama Masters

27-30 June

Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-USA Rocket Mortgage Classic

27-30 June

Detroit Golf Club, Michigan

2

2 places to the leading two players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 8 and ties
TOQS-Final Qualifying 2 July

Fairmont St Andrews

Notts (Hollinwell) 

Prince’s

St Annes Old Links

12

3 places to the leading three players at each venue.
TOQS-Ireland Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

4-7 July

Lahinch, Co. Clare

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-Scotland Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open

11-14 July

The Renaissance Club, East Lothian

3

3 places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
TOQS-USA John Deere Classic

11-14 July

TPC Deere Run, Illinois

1

One place to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties
   

46

 

NB: Any player who has qualified through The Open Qualifying Series is deemed an exempt player. In the event that that player subsequently fulfils other exemption categories those places in the starting field will be subject to Section F of The Open Entry Form.

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