St Annes Old Links to host Open golf qualifying at the double in June
St Annes Old Links will host both regional and final qualifying tournaments for golf’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s in July.
Old Links staged final qualifying for the past two Opens in 2018 and 2019, with regional qualifying at nearby Fairhaven.
However, the R&A has announced that due to the pandemic the same four venues will be used for regional and final qualifying this June: Hollinwell (Nottingham), West Lancashire (Liverpool), St Annes Old Links and Prince’s, which is adjacent to the Open venue in Kent
Regional qualifying (18 holes) takes place on Saturday, June 26 or Sunday, June 27, with final qualifying over 36 holes on Tuesday, June 29.
A minimum of eight players from a field of 288 will win places in the 149th Open (July 16-19) via final qualifying.
Governing body the R&A states that use of the same venues for regional and final qualifying will help to observe the government’s Covid protocols consistently.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director of 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.”
The Kent venue should have staged The Open last year but it was delayed 12 months by the pandemic.
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