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Imahira secures place at British Open with Asian Tour victory

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s Shugo Imahira secured a place in the 150th British Open at St Andrews later this year as he profited from a late collapse by compatriot Yuto Katsuragawa to win the Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup yesterday.

Imahira’s one-stroke victory at Oarai Golf Club in Ibaraki, in the Asian Tour’s first event in Japan since September 2019 because of the pandemic, was enough to secure a third career appearance at Open for the Japan Golf Tour professional.

The 29-year-old first played in the British Open at Royal Troon in 2016 and qualified again for Royal Portrush in 2019, but failed to make the cut on both occasions.

His best result in one of golf’s four majors was tied 44th at the 2020 US Masters.

“The Open was my goal at the start of this season,” Imahira told the Asian Tour website.

“My 172 world ranking isn’t good enough to get me into overseas events, so getting into the Open by winning this week is amazing.”