Amateur Kanaya among three Open qualifiers in Australia

Will Gray

Top-ranked amateur Takumi Kanaya was one of three players to qualify for the 2020 Open thanks to strong performances this week at the Australian Open.

The Sydney tournament marked the first leg of the 2020 Open Qualifying Series, which will see 46 players qualify for Royal St. George's across 16 worldwide events. Kanaya, the top-ranked amateur in the world, contended for the Stonehaven Cup before tying for third. Kanaya missed the cut at Royal Portrush in his Open debut, qualifying as the Asian-Pacific Amateur champion, and lost in a playoff earlier this year as the defending champ.

Jones won his second Aussie Open title, and he'll join Kanaya next summer in England. This will mark the fifth Open appearance for Jones, 39, whose best result was a T-30 at St. Andrews in 2015. Grabbing the third spot was Australia's Aaron Pike, who tied for third alongside Kanaya and will make his major championship debut.

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The Australian Open offered three spots to those not otherwise qualified among the top 10. Runner-up Louis Oosthuizen, who finished a shot behind Jones, is already exempt based on his 2010 win.

The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the South African Open in January, while the spots at PGA Tour events will be disbursed between the Arnold Palmer Invitational (three spots), RBC Canadian Open (3), Travelers Championship (2) and John Deere Classic (1).

The Open will be held July 16-19, 2020, as it returns to Royal St. George's for the first time since 2011.

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