Russell Knox was delighted to seal a spot at a home Open Championship after securing a tie for second at the HNA Open de France.
The leading three players in the top ten not already exempt at the third Rolex Series event of the season sealed a place at Carnoustie Golf Links, and Scot Knox was one of the lucky trio alongside American Julian Suri and Swede Marcus Kinhult.
The 33 year old would have been a long-shot when he entered the final day in Paris ten shots off the lead but a blemish-free 65 on a day when many of the leaders slipped back secured his spot.
Knox has played in the last three Open Championships, with a best finish of a tie for 30th at Royal Troon Golf Club in 2016.
“This was one of the huge goals coming over here, to try and play my way in,” he said. “I’m thrilled. Obviously, you don’t want to miss an Open Championship in Scotland being a Scot so job done.
“I love links golf. Growing up, my home club Nairn Dunbar is a links course. I’m playing well and coming into form. I just need that big push in the summer to move up.”
The man Knox started the day ten shots behind was Kinhult, who fired a closing 76 but had done enough over the first three days to keep himself near the top of the leaderboard.
The Swede will be making his Major Championship debut on Scotland's east coast and is looking forward to getting to grips with links golf at the next two Rolex Series events.
“It’s going be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I played The Amateur Championship at Carnoustie in 2015 so I know the course.
“The coming two weeks is going to be firm and windy, I guess, Ballyliffin and Gullane, so that’s good preparation. It’s going to be a couple of fun weeks. Those events take on more significance now that I’m going to the Open.
“I played a lot of links golf as an amateur, it’s fun, a different type of golf and I enjoy it.”
It’s going be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it - Marcus Kinhult
Suri held a one-shot lead stood on the final tee at Le Golf National but put his second in the water to surrender a double-bogey and finish alongside Knox, one shot behind winner Alex Noren.
The Made In Denmark champion missed the cut in his first Major at Royal Birkdale last year and is looking forward to another taste of links golf after also playing the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
“I love Carnoustie,” he said. “I played it in the Dunhill for the first time last year, obviously totally different conditions, but last year at the Open was my first Major, as well.
“It will be nice to be back and play the last two Majors of the year.”