Six Contenders Play In The Open

Six professional golfers confirmed for the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways will tee it up in golf’s oldest and arguably most prestigious Major tournament. The 147th Open Championship tees
19 Jul 2018 10:00
Six Contenders Play In The Open
Jazz Janewattan of Thailand

Six professional golfers confirmed for the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways will tee it up in golf’s oldest and arguably most prestigious Major tournament. The 147th Open Championship tees off at Carnoustie, Scotland  today and ends on Sunday.

Ernie Els, Lucas Herbert, Brett Rumford, Michael Hendry, Gavin Green and Jazz Janewattananond will compete against the likes of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson just two weeks before they travel to Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.

Here is the complete rundown of how they got to The Open, their recent performances in the Major and prospects of being crowned the Champion Golfer of the Year.


Lucas Herbert (Australia)

How he qualified: Tie for eighth at SMBC Singapore Open, part of The Open Qualifying Series

Best Open finish: N/A

World ranking: 177

Round 1 tee time: 1.37am local Fijian time with Min Chel Choi, Jason Kokrak

Formline: Despite possessing cards on both the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and PGA Tour China Herbert has used top 10 finishes at the co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship and ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth to earn five further starts on the European Tour. He was tied for third at the Sicilian Open in May and made his major championship debut at the US Open where he missed the cut. Played Carnoustie in the 2015 British Amateur where he shot an even-par round of 72 but failed to qualify for the matchplay section.


Michael Hendry (New Zealand)

How he qualified: Runner-up at The Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open on Japan Golf Tour

Best Open finish: MC at Royal Birkdale (2017)

World ranking: 228

Tee time: 11.20pm local Fijian time with Kelly Kraft, Lee Westwood

Formline: The towering Kiwi timed his run to perfection with his runner-up finish at The Gate Way to The Open Mizuno Open his only top-20 finish in nine starts on the Japan Golf Tour this year. He qualified for The Open in the same manner last year where he missed the cut at Royal Birkdale.


Brett Rumford (Australia)

Brett Rumford of Australia

Brett Rumford of Australia

How he qualified: Winner of the 2017 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit

Best Open finish: 16th at Royal Liverpool (2006)

World ranking: 393

Round 1 tee time: 3.05am local Fijian time with Masanori Kobayashi, Jack Senior

Formline: Played on the weekend just twice in his past eight starts after finishing in a tie for fifth at the Spanish Open back in April. Missed the cut in both the Irish and Scottish Opens the past fortnight, tournaments he has traditionally struggled with. Last played The Open in 2015 where he finished in a tie for 74th at St Andrews.


Ernie Els (South Africa)

How he qualified: The Open Champions aged 60 or under on 22 July 2018

Best Open finish: 1st at Muirfield (2006) and Royal Lytham & St Annes (2012)

World ranking: 774

Round 1 tee time: 8.03pm local Fijian time with Adam Hadwin, Chesson Hadley

Formline: As a two-time Champion Golfer of the Year, Ernie Els can’t be ruled out of contention in this year’s tournament. He finished fourth the last time The Open was played at Carnoustie so will have a good amount of course knowledge on his side.


Gavin Green (Malaysia)

Gavin Green of Malaysia

Gavin Green of Malaysia

How he qualified: First and anyone tying for 1st place on the Order of Merit of the Asian Tour for 2017.

Best Open finish: N/A

World ranking: 203

Round 1 tee time: 10.15pm local Fijian time with Sean Crocker, Ash Turner

Formline: Gavin Green makes his major debut at Carnoustie this week courtesy of accruing more prize money than any other player on the Asian Tour in 2017. He is still very much in the early stages of a promising career and last year at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course he put his hand up in the opening two rounds to lead however faded in the third round.


Jazz Janewattananond (Thailand)

How he qualified: Open Qualifying Series Singapore – SMBC Singapore Open 2018. Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties

Best Open finish: N/A

World ranking: 130

Round 1 tee time: 2.54am local Fijian time with Fabrizio Zanotti, Jordan Smith

Formline: Another debutant in The Open, Janewattananond earned his place at Carnoustie with a fourth place finish in the Singapore Open earlier this year. The young Thai star lit up the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course in 2017 with a blistering final round of 8-under 64, a new course record, to finish joint runner-up.

The 147th Open Championship will be broadcast live on Fiji TV, Fiji Two from 5:30pm today.

-Fiji International Presented by Fiji Airways




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