Celebrating 150 years

For Immediate Publication


24 May 2010, St Andrews, Scotland: England’s Simon Khan ensured that he will be taking to the Old Course this July with victory at the BMW PGA Championship. In addition to this year's Open, the win also earns him exemptions into both the 2011 and 2012 championships. Khan is one of a number of players who secured their place at the 150th Anniversary Open Championship yesterday, including Korea’s KJ Choi, Robert Karlsson of Sweden and American JB Holmes.

Khan came from seven shots behind the leaders on Sunday to take the European Tour’s flagship event by one stroke after a final round of 66. The 37-year-old, who has made four previous Open Championship appearances, will now look forward to contesting his fifth at St Andrews, a decade on from making his debut there at the Millennium Open in 2000.

Choi and Karlsson earn their exemptions by virtue of their places in the Official World Golf Ranking top 50 at the end of week 21, which concluded yesterday. Also booking his ticket to the Home of Golf through this category was Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, a tied-28th finish at Wentworth enough for him to end the week ranked 49 in the world. Others making sure of their place courtesy of their top-50 ranking included Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, and Americans Ben Crane and Matt Kuchar.

An exemption deadline was also applied in the United States this weekend, granting entry to three players in the top 20 of the current FedEx Cup standings not already exempt. Exempted through this category were Bill Haas, Jason Bohn and 2008 US Ryder Cup player JB Holmes, who will be playing in his fourth Open Championship.

A similar deadline was enforced in Europe with Wales’ Rhys Davies and Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden confirming their Open appearances as the only two players in the current top 20 of the Race to Dubai money list not already exempt. Both will be playing in their second Opens: Andersson Hed last contested golf’s oldest Major at Muirfield in 2002, while Davies made his debut last year at Turnberry, having qualified at International Final Qualifying – Europe.

A further eight players will earn their Open Championship berths today at International Final Qualifying – America, which is being held at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas.

There are currently 108 players exempt and entered into the 150th Anniversary Open Championship. The starting field will be 156.


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