Molinari seals Open spot

Edoardo Molinari, Matthew Baldwin and Danny Willett sealed their places at next month's 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool following the final round of the Irish Open at Fota Island Resort.

Molinari finished the tournament in second position after carding a final round of 67 to finish on 12-under-par, one shot behind winner Mikko Ilonen of Finland.

The two-time European Tour winner and 2010 Ryder Cup player has not played at a Major Championship since The Masters in 2012 and has been focused on returning to form after two surgeries on his left wrist.

\"It is very exciting that after two years with an injury and all sorts of problems that I will be back to play this Major, especially now that I'm hitting the ball probably the best I've ever hit,\" said Molinari, who had his best result at The Open in St Andrews in 2010 where he finished tied 27th.

\"I played Royal Liverpool in my last event as an amateur so it has a special place in my heart. I'm really looking forward to it.\"

Molinari will be joined by English duo Baldwin and Willett who took the second and third qualifying places after both finished tied third on 11-under-par alongside Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg.

Baldwin is looking forward to making his second Major Championship appearance close to home.

\"I grew up playing golf at Ascot and moved to Royal Birkdale when I was 18 so I've grown up on links golf,\" said Baldwin. \"It's definitely always been a dream of mine to play and possibly win The Open one day. It's brilliant.\"