Kiradech, Matsuyama earn Open Championship spots

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan ( Getty Images )

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hideki Matsuyama, No. 5 in the R&A's World Amateur Rankings, qualified for the Open Championship on Friday at Thailand's Amata Spring Country Club. The two-time Asia-Pacific Amateur champion was one of four players to advance to the Open Championship, which will be played July 18-21 in Muirfield.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot 68-63 to win the qualifier by four shots over Matsuyama, who fired 66-69. Daisuke Maruyama (71-65) and Ashun Wu (68-68) earned the final two spots.

Matsuyama made the cut in the past two Masters and became the first amateur since Ryo Ishikawa to win on the Japan Tour. Matsuyama is No. 144 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He had four top-10s, including two runners-up, in six Japan Tour starts last year.

Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Tianlang Guan finished 53rd at 3-over 147 (73-74), falling 11 shots short of a spot in the Open Championship. Guan won the Asia-Pacific Amateur at Amata Spring. readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.