Innchoon Hwang and Dongkyu Jang book places for The 148th Open
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 23/06/19 6:18pm
Innchoon Hwang and Dongkyu Jang earned places for The 148th Open next month as Jazz Janewattananond clinched a narrow win at the KOLON Korea Open.
The latest event in The Open Qualifying Series offered two places to the two leading non-exempt players finishing inside the top eight at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, and it was Hwang and Jang who earned the right to tee up in the final major of the year at Royal Portrush.
Janewattananond had already qualified for The Open thanks to his victory at the Singapore Open in January, and he looked to be cruising to a comfortable win when he turned in 33 before he opened the door for the chasing pack with a triple-bogey seven at the 11th.
The Thai star dropped another shot at the 14th, but he held his nerve down the stretch and parred the final four holes to return a 72 which proved enough for a one-shot win over Hwang on six under par.
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Hwang's two-under 70 lifted him into outright second while also booking his Open debut, and Jang finished a further shot back alongside Minjun Kim as only seven players completed 72 holes under par, including PGA Tour star Kevin Na.
Jang, who last played The Open in 2014, qualified for Royal Portrush ahead of Kim due to his loftier position in the world rankings, and both Jang and Hwang are relishing the chance to take on golf's elite next month.
"The Open was a championship I grew up watching on television and always wanted to play in so to qualify today is unbelievable," said Hwang. "It's a great honour to be playing in my first major championship and it is something that all golfers dream about. I'm really looking forward to playing at Royal Portrush."
Jang added: "I last played in The Open in 2014 when I won the Mizuno Open and back then I didn't really know what to expect from links golf but I am sure that the experience will count in my favour at Royal Portrush and I'm really looking forward to it.
"I'm also looking forward to playing in front of the Irish fans who are very passionate about golf and who hopefully will give me lots of support when I play there."
The next two events in The Open Qualifying Series are this week's Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation in Spain, and the Rocket Mortgage Classic on the PGA Tour.