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Czech Masters

Open qualifying: Hiroshi Iwata one of four players to earn spot for Hoylake

Last Updated: 07/03/14 12:15pm

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The four qualifiers: Tsukada Yoshinobu, Wu Ashun, Hiroshi Iwata and Cheng-Tsung Pan

The four qualifiers: Tsukada Yoshinobu, Wu Ashun, Hiroshi Iwata and Cheng-Tsung Pan

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Japan's Hiroshi Iwata won the final qualifying event in Thailand to book his place in the Open Championship at Hoylake.

The 33-year-old carded 71 in the deciding round to claim a five under par total of 139 at Amata Spring Country Club after leading by one stroke following Thursday's opening round.

Chinese Taipei amateur Cheng-Tsung Pan and Chinese professional Ashun Wu also made it through to the tournament proper to be hosted at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in July.

Former Open participant Wu scored an impressive 68 to improve on his two-under first-round result, to finish one shot behind Iwata in a tie for second in qualifying alongside Pan, who equalled his opening round score of 70.

Iwata, who missed the cut in the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale, said: "It's great to return. It has been a long time, and I'm happy to be back.

"I trained hard for this week and I'm glad the efforts finally paid off. I have been striking the ball well and I was confident of my chances.

"I hope to carry this form on to the Open."

Pan admitted he was still shocked after finishing tied for second alongside Wu to earn a third appearance in a major after competing in the 2011 and 2013 US Opens.

He said: "I'm still in a state of shock but at the same time I'm really happy with how I have played considering how tough this qualifier has been.

"Playing in the Open Championship has always been a dream of mine. The conditions are going to be very different from the US - at Royal Liverpool - but I guess that's what golf is all about.

"You have got to learn to play and compete under different conditions and hopefully I can do well again in July."

Wu, who made his Open debut at Muirfield last year, added: "Making my debut at the Open Championship was an eye-opener for me last year.

"Now that I have qualified again I will make the best of my opportunity and try to put up a better performance."

The fourth and final spot was won by Iwata's compatriot Yoshinobu Tsukada following a four-way play-off involving Masahiro Kawamura, home player Jazz Janewattananond and American David Lipsky, who all finished on three under.

Thailand's Prom Meesawat, who was one of four players to shoot 69 to remain in contention on three under at the halfway stage, failed to make it through after a disappointing 79 featuring seven bogeys and one double bogey.

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143rd Open Championship

Hiroshi Iwata: Leads way on four-under at Open qualifying event in Thailand

Iwata closing on Open spot

Hiroshi Iwata leads the field after a 68 in the first round of the Open Championship final qualifying event in Thailand.

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