Nate Lashley and Doc Redman have secured their places in The 148th Open at Royal Portrush after qualifying at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic was played at Detroit Golf Club and was the ninth event in The Open Qualifying Series, which gives players around the world opportunities to qualify for golf’s original championship at leading professional Tour events.
Two places were available to the leading players who finished in the top 8 and ties at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and who were not already exempt.
Lashley, who was the final player to be confirmed in the starting field after a last minute withdrawal, led the tournament from wire-to-wire to clinch his first ever win on the PGA TOUR. He will now make his debut in The Open at Royal Portrush after sealing the first available qualifying place.
The 36-year-old continued to dominate the field during today’s final round, carding a two-under-par 70 that included four birdies to finish on a 25-under-par total of 263, six shots ahead of the chasing pack.
“It hasn’t sunk in to be honest. I’ve never played in Europe before so I’m really looking forward to playing in The Open. It’s a dream come true to be playing in a major championship.
“Playing in The Open has always been something I’ve wanted to do and it will allow me to compete at the highest level. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Redman will also make his first appearance in The Open after closing out the tournament with a five-under-par 67 to finish runner-up to Lashley on a 19-under-par total of 269.
“It feels awesome to have qualified for The Open, it’s going to be an absolute blast. It’s going to be a unique challenge for me and I’m excited to give a shot.
The 2017 US Amateur Champion made it into the starting field through a qualifying event last Monday and the 21-year-old sunk a vital birdie on the penultimate hole to record his best ever finish on the PGA TOUR and ensure a starting berth among the world’s best golfers at Royal Portrush in just two weeks’ time.
“I don’t know much about Royal Portrush but I’m excited to go and check it out. I’m really looking forward to playing in front of a noisy crowd and it will be a lot of fun.”
The next event in The Open Qualifying Series is Final Qualifying, which takes place at Fairmont St Andrews, Notts (Hollinwell), Prince’s and St Annes Old Links on 2 July, followed by the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open being played at Lahinch from 4-7 July.