The R&A has announced that a revised format will be used in Regional and Final Qualifying for The 149th Open at Royal St George’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional and Final Qualifying will now be played at Hollinwell (home of Notts), Prince’s, St Annes Old Links and West Lancashire so that the measures required by the UK government guidance in relation to staging events and international travel are consistent between venues.
Golfers entering Regional Qualifying will compete over 18 holes of stroke play at one of the four venues on Saturday, 26 or Sunday, 27 June. Successful qualifiers will then progress to Final Qualifying at the same venue on Tuesday, 29 June and contend for a place in golf’s original championship over 36 holes of stroke play.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “We recognise that health measures could continue this summer and so we have developed alternative plans for Regional and Final Qualifying based on guidance from the UK government and our medical advisers.
“The health and wellbeing of everyone involved in these events is our top priority and having them played at a reduced number of venues with the required health and safety protocols in place will ensure people are protected.
“We would like to thank all of the venues for their support and co-operation in agreeing to the revised format and look forward to a series of exciting and dramatic qualifying events as golfers compete to earn a place in The Open at Royal St George’s.”
A minimum of eight places in The 149th Open will be on offer through Final Qualifying with a starting field of 288 golfers across the four venues.
Entries for golfers will open on Monday, 15 March and are required to be submitted to The R&A by Thursday, 20 May.
The R&A has already confirmed that all existing exemptions achieved before the date of The 149th Open being cancelled last year are being honoured. The full list of exemptions, including qualifying events, can be viewed on TheOpen.com.