Amateurs Kanaya, Yu log top-five finishes in the Australian Open
Chun An Yu (PGA Australia photo)
Chun An Yu (PGA Australia photo)

Takumi Kanaya (Japan) and Chun An Yu (Taiwan) finished in the top five of Australia's biggest tournament on Sunday, the Australian Open at the Australian Golf Club.

Kanaya, the No. 1-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and Yu, a senior at Arizona State and the No. 1 ranked player in the Golfweek/ World Ranking, shared the lead after shooting 6-under 65s in the opening round.

Related: Amateurs lead the Australian Open amid haze from bush fires

Both slipped back in the middle rounds, but Yu had a strong final round of 67 to get him back into the top five, finishing tied for fifth at 8-under 276, tied with Paul Casey, Cameron Tringale, Greg Chalmers and Denzel Ieremia.

Kanaya did one better, finishing tied for third at 9 under. He didn't know it at the time, but the birdie he made at the 72nd hole gave him a spot in next year's British Open at Royal St. George's in England. The low three players not otherwise exempt received exemptions into the Open.

In all, seven amateurs made the cut, including U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Lukas Michel, who tied for 21st at 3 under par.

Australian Matt Jones won the tournament at 15-under 269, one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who was already exempt for the British Open as a past champion.

The tournament was plagued by smoke and haze from nearby bush and grass fires -- as many as 25 burning across New South Wales state, including a large one in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney -- causing more than a few cases of burning eyes and respiratory issues.

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ABOUT THE Australian Open

The Australian Open is Golf Australia's National Open Men's Championship, and is sanctioned by the Australian PGA Tour and forms part of the ONEASIA series of events. Many of Australia's top amateurs qualify for the event.

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