Amateur Cheng-Tsung Pan of Chinese Taipei will make his Open Championship debut at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake after securing one of four qualifying spots at The Open Qualifying Series – Thailand event.
Pan will make his first trip to Europe to play The Open, which will take place from 17-20 July at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake. It will mark Pan’s third appearance at a major championship, having made his debut at the 2011 US Open before making the cut then finishing tied for 45th as the second leading amateur at the 2013 US Open at Merion.
The 22-year-old continued his successful record at Chonburi’s Amata Spring Country Club, turning in two successive 2-under-par 70s in the 36 hole qualifying event. Amata Spring is the same venue where he finished runner-up to Guan Tianlang at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, narrowly missing out on an invitation to the Masters Tournament.
Pan closed out The Open Qualifying Series event in second place, tied with China’s Ashun Wu. Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata won by a single stroke, while Yoshinobu Tsukada earned the final place following a four-hole sudden death play-off.
Pan, who is currently ranked 14th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) was thrilled to have the chance to play at The Open.
“It means a lot to me, I can’t even find the words to describe it. It means so much for my career and for me personally. I have made a lot of big changes over the last few months to my swing, so this victory is huge. It proved that I’m doing the right thing and I just need to keep going and keep working,” he said.
The University of Washington men’s golf team member acknowledged that his competitive experience at Amata Spring helped him deliver a consistent performance across the two rounds.
“I have always loved Amata Spring, the course fits my game really well. In these two days I only made two bogeys, but my heart was pumping really hard especially over the last few holes. I played really consistently but my emotions were quite up and down.”
His trip to The Open will be Pan’s first experience of a British links course, and he is looking forward to a different major championship experience when he arrives at Royal Liverpool.
“It will be a more authentic, more original golf experience. I always watch on TV and it’s going to be a very different style of golf course, the wind will be different on the links.”
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a dream come true.”
Pan was the number one ranked amateur in the WAGR for a long spell in 2013 and reached the last eight of the US Amateur Championship in 2012. He finished in a tie for eighth at last year’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Nanshan International Golf Club in China.