New Zealand’s Michael Hendry will be hoping to book his ticket to The Open championship for the third consecutive year when he leads the Australasian contingent at the Japan Golf Tour’s Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open at Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki.

Michael HendryThe top-four place-getters at the Mizuno Open not otherwise exempt to The Open will earn a place at Royal Portrush in Ireland in July with Hendry using that pathway to play the past two Open Championships.

Runner-up the past two years at the Mizuno Open, Hendry was one of three players who finished one shot behind winner Shota Akiyoshi with Australian Brendan Jones unlucky to miss out on a spot at Carnoustie two shots further back.

Jones and Matthew Griffin will have two chances to play their way into the field at Royal Portrush as there are also two exemptions for players in a mini moneylist leading up to and including the Mizuno Open, Jones currently third and Griffin fifth after strong starts to the 2019 season.

Jones was outright fifth at a difficult test at Royal Golf Club last year with Griffin – who has twice finished inside the top five this year – in a tie for 27th at 8-over par.

Won Joon Lee was tied for 13th in the same tournament last year while Queensland’s Anthony Quayle will be hoping to continue his good recent form where he has finished inside the top-10 in his past two starts.

Other Aussies in the field this week are Brad Kennedy, David Bransdon, Zach Murray, Dylan Perry and Andrew Evans who has been playing Japan’s secondary tour in the early months of 2019.