Three players set to qualify for the 146th open in South Africa

St Andrews, Scotland, Feb 22, 2017: The Open Qualifying Series moves on to South Africa this week and three players will qualify for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale at the Joburg Open which gets underway tomorrow.

The Open Qualifying Series gives players the chance to qualify for golf’s most international major championship at leading Tour events around the world. The Joburg Open is the third stop in the Series following the Emirates Australian Open in November and the SMBC Singapore Open last month.

The tournament will be played at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club and is jointly sanctioned between the European Tour and Sunshine Tour. It will mark the fourth time that the Joburg Open has featured as part of The Open Qualifying Series.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and The Open Qualifying Series gives players from across the globe the opportunity to earn their place in the Championship.

“We are excited to be returning to South Africa and the Joburg Open and we look forward to welcoming three qualifiers to Royal Birkdale this summer.”

Three players who finish in the top ten and ties, who are not already exempt, will earn places in the field in The Open at Royal Birkdale from 16-23 July 2017.

Players in the field at the Joburg who are already exempt for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale:
Darren Clarke. Haotong Li. Jbe Kruger

The 2011 Champion Golfer of the Year Darren Clarke will make his sixth appearance in the Joburg Open this week. The Northern Irishman, who won The Open at Royal St George’s after holding off the challenge from Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, has two top five finishes in the Joburg Open, including finishing tied for second place in 2010.

Haydn Porteous became the youngest ever winner of the Joburg Open last year when he finished two shots clear of compatriot Zander Lombard and the South African will return to defend his title this week.

Ireland’s Paul Dunne, who, as an amateur, shared the lead after the third round of The 144th Open at St Andrews, will be looking to qualify for The Open once again. After last year’s ninth place finish in the Joburg Open, he will be aiming to go a step further and lift the trophy.

The 2008 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman will play in the Joburg Open for the second time and will be joined in the field by the 2009 PGA Champion YE Yang.

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