Graeme McDowell finally secured his place in The Open Championship after securing a top-ten finish at the RBC Canadian Open.
McDowell, 39, whose previous attempts at qualifying to play at Royal Portrush had fallen short, booked his appearance at The 148th Open when he finished tied eighth at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario.
It was the first time that the RBC Canadian Open has featured in the R&A’s International Open Qualifying Series. Three places in The Open Championship were available to the leading players who finished in the top ten and ties who were not already exempt.
The championship was won by Rory McIlroy, who posted a 22-under-par total to win by seven shots. He, of course, was already exempt for The Open, alongside seven other golfers who finished in the top ten, including Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Sungjae Im, Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson.
Canada’s Adam Hadwin claimed the first available qualifying place after finishing sixth, while McDowell took the second spot after bagging back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes, and then holing a 30-foot par putt on the final hole to book a coveted spot to play in front of his home fans at Portrush next month.
The third available qualifying place went unclaimed, with Sebastian Munoz, Wes Roach and Cameron Tringale narrowly missing out after finishing in a tie for 11th place. The next event in the Open Qualifying Series is the Kolon Korea Open, which will be played at Woo Jeong Hills from June 20-23.