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Japan's Akiyoshi qualifies for British Open with Mizuno win

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(Reuters) – Japan’s Shota Akiyoshi fired a two-under-par 70 in the final round on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open title and book a place in this year’s British Open.

Akiyoshi, who was one-under for the tournament, finished ahead of New Zealand’s Michael Hendry and the Japanese pair of Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi who were in a three-way tie for second place.

The second-placed trio, who finished one stroke behind Akiyoshi, also qualified for the 147th Open at Carnoustie in Scotland from July 19-22.

Akiyoshi negotiated windy conditions to prevail at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki on Sunday.

The 27-year-old carded five birdies and three bogeys in the final round to secure his first title on the Japan Golf Tour.

Overnight leader Hendry endured a rocky finish but did enough to ensure a top-four spot and make the grade for the Open for the second straight year via this tournament.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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