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Hendry runner-up in Japan - earns Open Championship start

Hendry narrowly misses a playoff but gains Open Championship start (Photo: Bruce Young)
Shota Akiyoshi has today won the Japan Golf Tour’s Gateway to the Open Mizuno Open in Ibaraki in Japan, the 27-year old winning his first Japan Tour title and entry into the Open Championship at Carnoustie in mid-July.

Akiyoshi was the only player to finish under par on the demanding 8000 yard layout and won by one shot over Asahori Kawamura, Masanori Kobayashi and New Zealander Michael Hendry.

Australia’s Brendan Jones finished alone in 5th place narrowly missing out on one of the four places at the Open Championship granted to the leading four players who finished inside the top 12 this week and were not otherwise exempt for Carnoustie.

All three golfers finishing in a share of second place made a mess of the final hole, Hendry and Kawamura both bogeying while Akiyoshi double bogeyed which would prove costly in terms of their winning chances but they still secure a trip to the Open.

Hendry will get to play the Open Championship for the second occasion having missed the cut at Royal Birkdale last year so despite the frustration of not winning it has been a very productive week for the 38 year old

Jones was unlucky in his quest for the title and a start at the Open, his even par round a roller coaster over the first eleven holes with four birdies and four bogeys in that stretch. He was unable to pick up the one or two extra birdies he would need but parred in from the 12th.

He moves to 13th on this season’s Japan Tour money list and leads the Australasian contingent by some margin in that regard.

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