Three secure spots in Open Championship


Rod Pampling fired a final-round 61 Sunday to rocket up the leaderboard and secure a spot in next year's Open Championship. (Getty Images)

In addition to the usual spoils that come from winning his country's national championship, Matt Jones qualified for next year's Open Championship.

So did fellow Aussies Rod Pampling and Nick Cullen.

They were the three highest finishers at the Australian Open who were not already exempt for Royal Troon next July. 

“It’s one major I would love to win, it’s one major that I think suits my golf game the best," Jones told reporters. "I’m absolutely ecstatic to get back to The Open.”

Jones finished first, Pampling fourth and Cullen tied for fifth. Cullen tied with fellow Australian Lincoln Tighe, but secured the qualifying place thanks to his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking - 379 to 1,022.

Runners-up Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott are already in the field via their top-10 finishes at St. Andrews last year.

“I’m delighted to get back there. Obviously it’s where the game started. The results haven’t shown it, but I really enjoy playing The Open," said Pampling, whose best finish in eight appearances is a tie for 27th. "Hopefully this year, maybe I will work it out and who knows what we can do. It’s certainly awesome to be getting back into The Open again.”

Cullen shared his excitement via Instagram:

The Open Qualifying Series continues at the Thailand Golf Championship on Dec. 10-13.