The Korean star shot a final round of three-under-par 69 to tie with Australia’s Won-joon Lee but Kim earned the fourth and final slot to the Open at Royal Birkdale in July by virtue of his higher position on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“The Open is obviously the most loved major for me. It’s always a new course and a new challenge. I am hoping that I can have a great score and a great chance at Royal Birkdale,” said Kim, who is currently 13th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“There are many things that make The Open special, one factor that always comes into play is the weather. At one moment it could feel like summer, and then at the next you have the wind and rain. It’s part of the beauty of The Open Championship.”
Kim, who has two Asian Tour wins and 13 on the Japan Golf Tour, was defending his title at the Mizuno Open which is one of the Sectional Qualifying event for the Open, which is the year’s third Major.
His best finish at the Open was in 2010 when he tied 48th at St Andrews.
Chan Kim of the United States, who is a former Asian Tour member, Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Adam Bland of Australia finished in the top-three on Sunday to also qualify for Royal Birkdale.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Scott Hend of Australia is already exempt into The Open while Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Phachara Khongwatmai, Korea’s Yonghan Song and South Africa’s Jbe Kruger earned their places through top-four finishes at the SMBC Singapore Open in January.
“The Open is obviously the most loved major for me. It’s always a new course and a new challenge. I am hoping that I can have a great score and a great chance at Royal Birkdale.” – K.T. Kim
At the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, Asian Tour member Andrew Dodt of Australia settled for a share of sixth place after closing with a 73 on Sunday. Dodt led into the final round but four birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey left him four shots behind winner Alex Noren of Sweden. Noren stormed through the pack with a blistering 62 in the final round to win the title with his winning total of 277.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot a closing 71 for a share of 14th place while Scott Hend of Australia finished in tied 24th position.