Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and South African Richard Sterne have booked their places in the field for The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes later this month.
Jaidee and Sterne finished as the leading two players on the ‘mini’ European Tour cumulative money list running from the BMW PGA Championship to the Irish Open.
Jaidee will be making a sixth Open appearance and fourth in succession by virtue of his ISPS Handa Wales Open success last month when he claimed his fifth European Tour title at the Celtic Manor Resort.
The three-time Asian Tour Number One did not miss a cut during qualifying period and also posted a top-ten at the BMW International Open in Munich.
“I am very happy to be competing in The Open, so that’s going to be exciting,” said the 42 year old.
“I knew if I made the cut here in Ireland I would almost certainly qualify, so it is good I’ve qualified,” he added after finishing tied 18th at Royal Portrush with a closing with a 66.
Jaidee’s best finish at the Open Championship was tied 13th at the 2009 edition in Turnberry where he had started the final round just four shots off the lead.
Sterne will be making his fifth Open appearance and first since 2009 when he finished joint 34th. A back injury curtailed his playing opportunities to just ten events over the last two years but he has put that behind him this season, registering three successive top tens since the BMW PGA Championship, including joint second in the IPS Handa Wales Open.
The five time European Tour winner currently lies 32nd on The Race to Dubai.
There is still a chance to qualify for The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes from July 19-22 with spots available for the leading player from within the top five, not otherwise exempt, from this week's Alstom Open de France and next week's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.