Denny McCarthy shoots final-round 66, moves up 26 spots to earn Open Championship exemption
Denny McCarthy grabbed the last of three exemptions given at Quail Hollow for the Open Championship later this summer at Royal Liverpool.
Tis the season of Open qualifying where the R&A is handing out exemptions into the Open Championship for top finishers in various events over the next two months. The Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow was one of the events where the top-three finishers not already exempt earned a spot in the field July 20-23 at Royal Liverpool.
Wyndham Clark’s victory helped him secure a spot in the Open Championship. He shot 63-68 over the weekend in Charlotte to earn his first career professional victory. He tied for 76th place last year at the Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews.
The other two positions went to Michael Kim and Denny McCarthy, who finished seventh and tied for eighth respectively.
Kim, 29, seemed to be in easily midway through his final round Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship, making four birdies in the first 10 holes. But he made bogey on the 12th hole, then closed with bogey on the 18th to shoot 69 and finish seventh, good enough for one of the three spots. He tied for 35th place at his only Open appearance in 2019 at Royal Portrush.
McCarthy, 30, provided the most drama during the final round. He bogeyed the first hole, but made birdie on the fourth and sixth holes, then made eagle on the par-5 seventh hole to move up the leaderboard. He birdied Nos. 10 and 14, and two-putted for par from 50 feet on the last hole to shoot 66 and tie for eighth place, moving up 26 spots.
McCarthy was tied with K.H. Lee, Max Homa, Corey Conners, Sungjae Im and Brendon Todd, who along with McCarthy were the only two in that group not exempt into the Open. McCarthy earned the spot via the tiebreaker, which went to the player who was ranked higher in the Official World Golf Ranking. It will be McCarthy’s first Open Championship appearance.
The Memorial is the next PGA Tour event that is an Open qualifier. The top three finishers at Muirfield Village not already exempt will earn a spot in the field at Royal Liverpool.