(Reuters) - The television viewing figures for next month’s U.S. Open can expect quite a bump after China’s Liang Wenchong ensured he would make his debut at the year’s second major by topping sectional qualifying in Japan.
The 35-year-old will be the first mainland Chinese to play in all four majors after posting a second round five-under-par 66 at the Nara International Golf Club to secure his spot at the June 12-15 tournament at Pinehurst.
Liang was the first golfer from his country to play in the PGA Championship in 2007, the first to make the cut at a major when he got through to the weekend at the 2008 British Open and also played the U.S. Masters on an invitation that same year.
With India’s Shiv Kapur also grabbing a spot at Pinehurst through European qualifying, organisers can expect bumper TV audiences on the world’s most populous continent.
South Korean Lee Kyoung-Hoon, American David Oh as well as Japanese players Kiyoshi Miyazato, Toru Taniguchi, Azuma Yano also secured a ticket to North Carolina through the Japan sectional.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ian Ransom