Danny Lee, Joel Dahmen and Keith Mitchell have secured their places in The 149th Open after qualifying at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational was played at Bay Hill in Orlando and was the fourth event in The Open Qualifying Series, which gives golfers around the world opportunities to book their place at Royal St George’s from July 12-19, 2020.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton defeated former champion Marc Leishman by one shot to lift his first PGA Tour title on a four-under-par total of 284. Both players were already exempt for The Open, as well as Sungjae Im and Bryson DeChambeau, who finished third and fourth.
All three qualifiers finished in a tie for fifth place alongside 2014 Champion Golfer Rory McIlroy, who was already exempt, on an even par total of 288 to secure their places in golf’s original championship.
Lee will make his return to The Open for the first time since 2016 when the Championship was played at Royal Troon. Despite a final round 75, the 2015 Greenbrier Classic champion will tee it up with the world’s best golfers at Royal St George’s after securing the first qualifying spot courtesy of his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
“When I missed that last putt, I felt like I had put myself out of The Open position but I was still happy to finish on even par. I am very happy to have the opportunity to play in The Open,” Lee said.
Dahmen, who made his debut in The Open at Royal Portrush last year, claimed the second qualifying spot ahead of Mitchell thanks to his higher position in OWGR after closing with a one-under-par 71 during today’s final round. The American sunk a crucial birdie putt from over 45 feet on the 16th hole to book his place in the field at Royal St George’s.
“It’s a goal every year to play in The Open. Last year was my first Open and it was probably the best event I have ever played in,” Dahmen said.
It was a case of déjà vu for Mitchell who qualified through the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the second year running. The 28-year-old clinched the final qualifying place in dramatic fashion after rolling in a 12 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to also sign for a one-under-par 71.
“It’s pretty special. I was standing here last year and that’s how I got into The Open. It’s probably one of my favourite weeks of the year. I’ve never been over to Royal St George’s and it’s going to be a true honour,” Mitchell said.
Despite occupying the qualifying places for much of the final round, there was disappointment for Harris English and Sung Kang, who both dropped vital shots to slip out of contention and finish on a one-over-par total of 289 alongside Collin Morikawa.
The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be The Mizuno Open being played at The Royal in Ibaraki, Japan from May 30 – June 2, 2020.