Andrew Johnston finished on 19 under at the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick

Andrew “Beef” Johnston admitted it had been “a hard year” as he qualified for The Open Championship, which starts at Royal Portrush on Thursday.

The Englishman, 30, carded the best round of his career on Sunday with a 62 to finish in a share of fourth at the Scottish Open and earn an Open place.

“I’ve tried so hard in the last year and to come out and shoot a score like that is such a nice feeling,” he said.

Wiping away tears, the world 221 added: “It’s been a hard year so I’m happy.”

Johnston won many fans with his distinctive appearance and jovial demeanour, claiming his one European Tour title at the 2016 Spanish Open and finishing eighth in The Open that year.

He rose to a career-high ranking of 74 but his form deserted him and he slipped to 337th in the rankings after missing the cut at the Irish Open at the start of the month.

Johnston wrote in a European Tour blog