Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Kent has been unveiled as one of four new venues in the UK that have been chosen to host Final Qualifying tournaments for the Open Championship from 2023-26.
The famous Kent links, which hosted The Open in 1909 and 1920, has previously been a venue for Final Qualifying, as well as staging the Amateur Championship on three occasions, most recently 2013. It also hosted the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship last year.
The Deal-based club replaces Prince’s Golf Club in nearby Sandwich on the qualifying schedule, with the latter having hosted Final Qualifying since 2018.
The other three venues announced were Burnham & Berrow in Somerset, Dundonald Links in Scotland and West Lancashire in Liverpool.
Burnham & Berrow in will become a Final Qualifying venue for the first time in the club’s history. It has staged several prestigious amateur championships including the Women’s Amateur Championship, the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship and the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
West Lancashire, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2023, has been a regular venue for Final Qualifying, and hosted the Women’s Amateur Championship in 2020 and also co-staged the Amateur Championship with Formby in 2009. In 2014, it was the venue for the R&A’s Junior Open.
Dundonald Links hosted the Scottish Open for the first time in 2017, as well as the Ladies Scottish Open in 2015-17. The R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship was played there in 2014, while the Women’s Scottish Open will be played at the Ayrshire links later this year.
Final Qualifying is contested by a combined field of 288 players, including those who have been successful in Regional Qualifying events, with a minimum of 12 places in The Open available.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “We have selected four renowned venues to host Final Qualifying from 2023 and each of them has an outstanding reputation for having held championships and international matches. We look forward to working with them to stage a series of exciting events in which golfers will compete for a sought-after place in The Open. We have enjoyed working with Prince’s, Fairmont St Andrews, Hollinwell, and St Annes Old Links to organise Final Qualifying events at these venues in recent years and I would like to thank them for their support.”
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