Japanese amateur sensation Hideki Matsuyama booked one of four places at the 2013 Open Championship this morning following the conclusion of International Final Qualifying Asia.
The 21-year-old prodigy sealed his first appearance in golf's oldest major with a final-round 69 and 9-under total at the the two-day event at Amata Springs Golf Club.
Matsuyama, ranked fifth in the official world amateur rankings, has previously played in The Masters twice - making the cut on both occasions, and finishing as the low amateur on his debut in 2011.
He will now make his first appearance at the Open Championship at Muirfield later this year, having stumbled when on course to achieve his aim at the end of IFQ 12 months ago.
“I'm excited and happy because I made it,” he said. “After 16 and 17, I told myself to calm down which I did. I'm glad with the way I handled myself out there. This is my first appearance at The Open and I can't wait for it.
“I gained a lot of experience when I played in the Masters and it improved my game and maturity. I'm sure I'll become even better after playing in The Open.”
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished four shots clear of Matsuyama on 13-under, while Daisuke Maruyama of Japan and Wu Ashun - who becomes just the second player from China to qualify for The Open - took the remaining coveted spots in tied third.
There was no such luck for teenage amateur Guan Tianlang, however, as the 14-year-old Chinese superstar finished 16 strokes off the pace with rounds of 73 and 74.
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