TOKYO – Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa closed with a 1-over 73 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour and qualify for the British Open next month.
It was the first victory this year for the 17-year-old Ishikawa, and it came at the right time. The top 4 players not already exempt for the British Open earned a spot in the field July 16-19 at Turnberry.
“I’m thrilled to have qualified for the British Open,” he said. “There were some tense moments today but it all worked out in the end.”
He took a quintuple-bogey 9 on the 12th hole, then rebounded with a chip-in for eagle on the 16th. He closed out his round with a birdie to finish at 13-under 275, three shots ahead of David Smail of New Zealand.
Ishikawa won for the third time in his career, and the second time as a pro. He became the youngest winner of a sanctioned tour when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at 15 two years ago.
Ishikawa missed the cut this year at the Masters, where he was given a special invitation. He also has received an invitation to the PGA Championship in August at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.