Sunday, December 09, 2018

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ROMAIN LANGASQUE, CHARL SCHWARTZEL AND OLIVER WILSON QUALIFY IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE 148TH OPEN

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NEWS RELEASE FROM R and A
Johannesburg, South Africa: Romain Langasque, Charl Schwartzel and Oliver Wilson have secured their places in The 148th Open after qualifying at the South African Open hosted by The City of Johannesburg.
South Africa’s national Open took place at Randpark Golf Club on the outskirts of Johannesburg and was the second event in The Open Qualifying Series which gives golfers around the world opportunities to book their place at Royal Portrush from 14-21 July 2019.
Langasque recorded a five-under-par 66 at the Firethorn course to book his spot at The Open. It will be the second time that he plays in golf’s original championship after the Frenchman qualified to play at St Andrews in 2015 as a result of winning The Amateur Championship at Carnoustie.
In an up-and-down round that included five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle, Langasque finished in outright second on 12-under-par – four shots behind winner Louis Oosthuizen, who is already exempt for The Open.
The 23-year-old, who recently regained his European Tour card through Qualifying School in November, will now tee it up at Royal Portrush in July for the first time as a professional.
Several players finished on ten-under-par in a tie for third place, but it was 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and England’s Oliver Wilson who took the remaining spots for The Open on account of their higher positions in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Schwartzel, playing alongside two-time Open Champion Ernie Els, struggled to bring his final round to life after finishing on one-over-par for the day. But it was his earlier scores, an opening day 67 and an eight-under-par 63 at the Bushwillow course on Friday, that saw him hold his place in prime position by the time play was over on Sunday.
The South African will now make his 15th appearance in The Open with his best previous result -  a tie for 7th - coming in 2014 at Royal Liverpool.
A four-under-par 67 was enough to see Wilson claim the final qualifying place. The 38-year-old went bogey-free on the front nine, recording four birdies to go out in 31. He added another two birdies at the 12th and 14th holes but bogeys at the 13th and 18th derailed his chances of catching Oosthuizen or finishing in outright second.
Royal Portrush will be Wilson’s sixth appearance in The Open having made his debut at Carnoustie in 2007. He will be looking to better his 2009 tied for 24th finish at Turnberry, which is so far the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links champion’s most successful result.
The next event in The Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club from  January 17-20, 2019.
Key Quotes
Romain Langasque
“It’s amazing. I played really nicely today and the conditions were really tough, but I just stayed focused and now I’ve qualified. I’m really happy.
“I think [Portrush] will be a totally different course. It was good to play in St Andrews for my first Open because it's quite wide and I could play left if I couldn’t quite feel the shot.
"Portrush is not quite the same, the course is more narrow but I think I’m ready to play these kind of events as a pro. I’m going to be patient and not put too much pressure on myself and do my best and enjoy myself over there.
“I’m ready. My game is ready. My last results have been good. Golf can go quick in every sense. I will continue to work and focus on the tournaments coming up, and then on The Open and we will see what will happen.”
Charl Schwartzel
“I was hoping to do better in this tournament but I’m still happy that I get to play The Open in Northern Ireland which will be really nice.
“Watching Ernie’s last win and when Tiger won at Hoylake are two of my best memories of The Open, and obviously when my good friend Louis won at St Andrews.
“It’s special. There’s so much history behind it and it would be nice to have my name on the trophy one day.”
Oliver Wilson 
“I’m delighted. It wasn’t really something I was thinking about going out there today. It was tough conditions again but I played lovely and obviously coming down the stretch you realise what position you’re in. I was pleased to sneak in and get this spot because I bogeyed the last hole and I thought it was going to cost me the spot.
“This is quite big to know that you’re in The Open at this stage of the year. It’s great that I can have something that I’m really looking forward to. I managed to get in last year, and it’s where you want to be. You never want to miss The Open.
“The Open is the best one there is. I played it this last year but I hadn’t played it for a few years. Coming back and seeing what is was like at Carnoustie, the infrastructure there, and knowing the eyes of the whole world are on the tournament. You want to be there, everything about it and the way that it was run was fantastic. To qualify and get in there is nice.”
 

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