Strong finishes land more major starts for several stars
They didn't win the Open Championship, but their finishes mattered a great deal to Hunter Mahan, Richard Green, Andres Romero, Paul Broadhurst and Pelle Edberg. All earned spots in future majors by virtue of their performances.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) -- Hunter Mahan had only played in five majors going into this season. Now he can count on playing all four of them next year for the first time in his career.
Mahan made the cut on the number, then had the best weekend at Carnoustie. He shots rounds of 69-65 to move into a tie for sixth, and the top 15 are automatically exempt for next year's Open.
Mahan qualified for the Masters by winning the Travelers Championship in Hartford last month, a victory that also gets him into the PGA Championship. A month ago, he tied for 15th in the U.S. Open to ensure a trip to Torrey Pines next year.
"I felt I could play here," Mahan said. "I kept plodding along and found my swing. It's been neat this week. There's been an electric atmosphere."
Now he'll get to experience all four majors in 2008.
Mahan wasn't the only one who claimed somewhat of a consolation prize.
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Richard Green matched the course record for an Open with a 64, and by tying for fourth, he'll get into the Masters. Andres Romero also can count on his first trip to Augusta National after finishing third.
Others who will be invited to Royal Birkdale next year by virtue of a top 15 in this Open include Paul Broadhurst and Pelle Edberg.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.