England’s Justin Rose has earned a late exemption into the British Open after his victory at the AT&T National on Sunday. The 29-year-old’s one-stroke victory ensured that he would claim one of two places in golf’s oldest major available to the leading players, not already exempt, in a cumulative money list taken from the Players Championship and the five PGA Tour events leading up to and including the AT&T National.
Rose, who as an amateur famously holed from 60 yards on the 72nd hole during the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale to finish tied for fourth, will be making his ninth Open Championship appearance. Despite having failed to qualify for St. Andrews Opens in both 2000 and 2005, Rose has enjoyed success on the Old Course, winning the 1997 St. Andrews Links Trophy and finishing second a decade later in the 2007 Dunhill Links Championship.
Earning his second Open appearance was Bubba Watson of the United States. Watson, 31, made sure of his place by finishing as the second player, not already exempt, on the mini money-list.
American Ryan Moore took the Open berth on offer at the AT&T National by virtue of his runner-up performance. The 27-year-old made up five shots on Rose over the course of the final day to claim second place outright and, with it, the exemption awarded to the highest-placed player at the event, who had not yet secured his ticket to St Andrews. Moore has played in one previous Open Championship, at Carnoustie in 2007, where he finished tied for 42nd.
In Europe, Spain’s Alejandro Canizares has successfully reached his first Open after narrowly missing out on winning the Alstom French Open. Canizares, son of four-time European Ryder Cup team member Jose Maria Canizares, lost out to Miguel Angel Jimenez in a three-man playoff, but finished as the leading player in the top five, not already exempt and, so, ensures that he will make his major championship debut at St Andrews.
One Open place has been reserved for the leading player, not already exempt, finishing in the top five at each of the Barclays Scottish Open and the John Deere Classic.
Two further exemptions have been awarded to Americans Rickie Fowler and Jeff Overton courtesy of their positions as the highest-ranked players, not already exempt, in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 21-year-old Fowler, ranked 37th in the world, will be making his Open debut, while Overton, ranked 62nd, will be making a third consecutive appearance, one year after registering his best performance in a major, tied for 13th, at Turnberry.