Kitayama, Wu, and Donaldson Claim British Open Spots

Kurt Kitayama, Genesis Scottish Open, (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kurt Kitayama, Genesis Scottish Open, (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Three of the final six tickets to this year’s 150th Open Championship were claimed on Sunday in Scotland.

The field for the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews is nearly set and on Sunday at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open, three more players cemented their place in the year’s final major.

The three tickets were awarded to the top three finishers inside of the top 10 at the Renaissance Club who had not previously secured their spot. It was a competition within a competition so to speak.

All-day long players climbed and fell out of the coveted spots on the leaderboard. At one point it appeared as though 45-year-old PGA Tour veteran Ryan Palmer would secure one of the tickets.

The Texan began the day just three shots back of leader and eventual winner Xander Schauffele before a final round 73, his worst round of the week, ended his British Open dreams for this year.

Englishman Jordan Smith, who had a terrific week which included a hole-in-one on the par 3, 17th hole on Friday, was another player who struggled during the final round.

Smith opened his week at the Genesis Scottish Open with rounds of 68, 69, and 69 before a closing 74 extinguished his hopes of a spot in the 150th Open Championship. He will have to be content with the brand new Genesis cars that he won for himself and his caddy for this year.

Brandon Wu grabs British Open spot

25-year-old Brandon Wu was able to capitalize on others’ slip-ups on Sunday. The Stanford alum sandwiched rounds of 72 and 71 on Friday and Saturday with two rounds of 67.

Four birdies en route to a Sunday 67 were good enough to secure his place in this year’s British Open.

Wu has had an up and down season with his best results coming at the Puerto Rico Open (3rd), and Mexico Open at Vidanta (2nd) back in May. He will make his first-ever appearance in a British Open next week.

Seasoned veteran Jamie Donaldson finished alongside Wu in a share for 6th on Sunday to claim his place at the 150th Open. 

The Welshman was solid all week opening with rounds of 70, 70, and 71 over the first three days before producing his best effort of the week during his final round.

Jamie fired a closing 67 on Sunday, a round that included three clutch birdies across his final seven holes to secure his place at St. Andrews.

Kitayama’s emphatic performance results in British Open berth

A final round 66 not only ensured Kitayama a spot in this year’s final major, but it was also nearly good enough to win the Genesis Scottish Open.

The California native even held the lead before a bogey on the 17th would prove costly in the end.

Kurt, who found himself in contention at both the Honda Classic (3rd) and the Mexico Open at Vidanta (2nd) on the PGA Tour earlier this year, will instead get to turn his attention towards a trip to St. Andrews and the 150th Open Championship now.

The 29-year-old certainly has no problem doing just that as he described how excited he was following his round saying:

"“Yeah, it’s really exciting. Being the 150th, there’s a lot of hype around it. So I’m looking forward to that. It’s going to be really cool. there’s been a lot of talk about it being the 150th at St Andrews so it’s going to be really cool. I’ve actually never played there. Missed out on the Dunhill. It’s going to be really exciting.”"

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Kitayama, Wu, and Donaldson will join J.T. Poston, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, and Emiliano Grillo as the latest players who have stamped their British Open tickets in PGA Tour and co-sanctioned events in the last week.

The final three tickets for the 150th Open will be claimed at the Barbasol Championship on Sunday evening.

The 150th Open begins on Thursday, July 14th.