2021 Open Championship

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149th Open Championship
2021 Open Championship logo.png
Tournament information
Dates15–18 July 2021
LocationSandwich, England
51°16′26″N 1°22′01″E / 51.274°N 1.367°E / 51.274; 1.367Coordinates: 51°16′26″N 1°22′01″E / 51.274°N 1.367°E / 51.274; 1.367
Course(s)Royal St George's Golf Club
Organized byThe R&A
Tour(s)
Statistics
Par70
Length7,204 yards (6,587 m)
Field156 players
Location Map
Royal St Georges is located in the United Kingdom
Royal St Georges
Royal St Georges
Location in the United Kingdom
Royal St Georges is located in England
Royal St Georges
Royal St Georges
Location in England
Royal St Georges is located in Kent
Royal St Georges
Royal St Georges
Location in Kent
← 2019
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The 2021 Open Championship, officially the 149th Open Championship, is a golf tournament that is scheduled to be played 15–18 July 2021 at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England. It was originally scheduled for 16–19 July 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the 15th Open Championship played at Royal St George's, and the first since Darren Clarke won in 2011.

Organisation[edit]

The Open Championship is organised by the R&A, and is included in the PGA Tour, European Tour, and Japan Golf Tour calendars under the major championships category. The tournament is a 72-hole (4 rounds) stroke play competition held over 4 days, with 18 holes played each day. Play is in groups of three for the first two days, and groups of two in the final two days. Groupings for the first two days are decided by the organisers, with each group having one morning, and one afternoon tee time. On the final two days, players tee off in reverse order of aggregate score, with the leaders last. After 36 holes there is a cut, after which the top 70 and ties progress through to compete in the third and fourth rounds. In the event of a tie for the lowest score after four rounds, a three-hole aggregate playoff is held to determine the winner; this is followed by sudden-death extra holes if necessary until a winner emerges.

The previous record for attendance at Royal St George's was 183,000 but organisers expected the 2020 edition to exceed 200,000. Friday, Saturday and Sunday tickets sold out well in advance, with a few Thursday tickets still to be sold.[1]

Cancellation in 2020[edit]

In March 2020, The R&A released a statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, stating they were examining a range of scenarios for staging the championships, with the focus on proceeding as planned, but also considering other available contingency options.[2] On 6 April, the R&A announced the Championship was cancelled for 2020; it was the first time since the Second World War that the event was not held.[3]

Venue[edit]

Sandwich, the town where the 2020 tournament was scheduled to be held, is well known for its many original medieval buildings.

The 2021 Open Championship will be the 149th edition of the tournament and held at Royal St George's Golf Club. It is located in Sandwich Bay, a long sweeping inlet of the sea between Ramsgate and Deal, on the east coast of Kent, England. The coastal area consists of sand flats with their associated salt marshes and coastal sand dunes. These conditions are well suited to links golf, with Prince's Golf Club and Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, both previous Open venues, found immediately north and south of St George's.

In preparation for the Open Championship, Royal St George's tasked golf course architects Mackenzie and Ebert to make alterations to the course. Large bunkers at the 4th and 7th holes, and a large bare sand area to the left of the 5th hole, were restored. Two bunkers to the left of the 17th green were replaced by a swale and bunkering was altered on the 18th hole. Improvements were also made to the practice facilities.[4]

Royal St George's is the only venue on the current rota located in Southern England. The 2021 tournament is the 15th edition held at the venue, having first hosted in 1894, when it became the first club outside Scotland to host the championship. The previous edition held at the venue was in 2011, won by Darren Clarke. The closest large city is London, which is located about 70 miles north west of the venue.[5]

In preparation for the Open, the local station had the platforms extended to accommodate 12-carriage trains. There is a dedicated camping and glamping area, called The Open Camping Village, which has capacity for 2,200 people. The local town has a Sandwich in bloom initiative to try to encourage much more tourist activity than in 2011.[6]

Course layout[edit]

Hole Yards Par    Hole Yards Par
1 445 4 10 415 4
2 421 4 11 238 3
3 239 3 12 379 4
4 491   4^ 13 456 4
5 422 4 14 547 5
6 174 3 15 496 4
7 566 5 16 162 3
8 450 4 17 426 4
9 412 4 18 450 4
Out 3,620 35 In 3,569 35
Source:[7] Total 7,189 70

Lengths of the course for previous Opens (since 1950)

  • 2011: 7,211 yards (6,594 m), par 70
  • 2003: 7,106 yards (6,498 m), par 71
  • 1993: 6,860 yards (6,270 m), par 70
  • 1985: 6,857 yards (6,270 m), par 70
  • 1981: 6,827 yards (6,243 m), par 70

Field[edit]

The Open Championship field is made up of 156 players, who gain entry through various exemption criteria and qualifying tournaments. The criteria include past Open champions, recent major winners, top ranked players in the world rankings and from the leading world tours, and winners and high finishers from various designated tournaments, including the Open Qualifying Series; the winners of designated amateur events, including The Amateur Championship and U.S. Amateur, also gain exemption provided they remain an amateur. Anyone not qualifying via exemption, and has a handicap of 0.4 or lower, can gain entry through regional and final qualifying events.

Criteria and exemptions[edit]

Each player is classified according to the first category in which he qualified, but other categories are shown in parentheses. The criteria were updated in December 2020, with the R&A adding additional criteria and extending others.[8][9] Further adjustments were announced in May and June 2021, with additional places being available through final qualifying, and several additional exemptions added through nominated European Tour and Challenge Tour events.[10][11]

1. The Open Champions aged 60 or under on 19 July 2020.

2. The Open Champions for 2010–2019.

3. Top 10 finishers and ties in the 2019 Open Championship.

4. Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for Week 21, 2021.[a]

5. Top 30 in the final 2019 Race to Dubai standings.

5a. Top 10 in the final 2020 Race to Dubai standings.[b]

6. Recent winners of the BMW PGA Championship (2017–2020).[c]

7. Top 5 players, not already exempt, within the top 20 of the 2021 Race to Dubai through the BMW International Open.[d]

  • 27 June

8. Recent winners of the Masters Tournament (2016–2021).[e]

9. Recent winners of the PGA Championship (2015–2021).[e]

10. Recent winners of the U.S. Open (2016–2021).[e]

11. Recent winners of the Players Championship (2018–2021).[e]

12. The 30 qualifiers for the 2019 Tour Championship.

12a. The leading ten qualifiers for the 2020 Tour Championship.[b]

13. Top five players, not already exempt, within the top 20 of the 2020–21 FedEx Cup points list through the Travelers Championship.[f]

  • 27 June

14. Winner of the 2019 Open de Argentina.

15. Playing members of the 2019 Presidents Cup teams.

16. Winners of the 2019 and 2020–21 Asian Tour Order of Merit.[c]

17. Winners of the 2019 and 2020 PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.[c]

18. Winners of the 2019–20 and 2020–21 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.[c]

19. Winners of the 2019 and 2020 Japan Open.[c]

20. Winners of the 2020 and 2021 Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup Golf.[e][g]

21. Top two players on the 2019 and 2020 Japan Golf Tour Official Money List.[c][h]

22. The top two finishers, not already exempt, in the 2021 Mizuno Open.[i]

23. Winner of the 2019 and 2020 Senior Open Championship.[c][j]

24. Winners of the 2020 and 2021 Amateur Championship.[e]

25. Winners of the 2019 and 2020 U.S. Amateur.[c]

26. Winners of the 2020 and 2021 European Amateur.[e]

27. Recipient of the 2019 and 2020 Mark H. McCormack Medal.[c]

28. Winner of the 2019 and 2020 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.[c][l]

29. Winner of the 2020 and 2021 Latin America Amateur Championship.[e][m]

30. The leading player, not already exempt, in the 2021 Kaskáda Golf Challenge (must have made the cut and not participated in Final Qualifying).[n]

  • 4 July

31. The leading three players, not already exempt, in the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (must have made the cut and not participated in Final Qualifying).[n]

  • 4 July

32. The leading player, not already exempt, in the 2021 Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge (must have made the cut and not participated in Final Qualifying).[n]

  • 11 July

33. The leading three players, not already exempt, in the 2021 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.[o]

  • 11 July

34. Open Qualifying Series

35. Final Qualifying

  • 29 June

Open Qualifying Series[edit]

The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) for the 2020 Open Championship was to consist of twelve events from the six major tours, however only four events took place prior to cancellation of the Open in 2020. The 13 players who had qualified from these four events retained their eligibility for 2021. The remaining tournaments were either cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic or proceeded without offering places in the Open.

Places were available to the leading players (not otherwise exempt) who finished in the top n and ties. In the event of ties, positions went to players ranked highest according to that week's OWGR.

Location Tournament Date Spots Top Qualifiers
Australia Emirates Australian Open 8 Dec 2019 3 10 Matt Jones, Takumi Kanaya, Aaron Pike
Africa South African Open 12 Jan 2020 3 10 Jaco Ahlers, Marcus Armitage, Branden Grace
Singapore SMBC Singapore Open 19 Jan 2020 4 12 Kim Joo-hyung, Ryosuke Kinoshita, Richard T. Lee, Poom Saksansin
United States Arnold Palmer Invitational 8 Mar 2020 3 10 Joel Dahmen, Danny Lee, Keith Mitchell
Ireland Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 31 May 2020 4 12 Tournament rescheduled to September without OQS status
Morocco Trophée Hassan II 7 Jun 2020 1 5 Tournament cancelled
Canada RBC Canadian Open 14 Jun 2020 3 10 Tournament cancelled
Korea Kolon Korea Open 28 Jun 2020 2 8 Tournament cancelled
United States Travelers Championship 28 Jun 2020 2 8 Tournament proceeded without OQS status
United States John Deere Classic 12 Jul 2020 1 5 Tournament cancelled

Final Qualifying[edit]

In 2020, thirteen regional qualifying events were scheduled to be held at Alwoodley, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Burhill, Caldy, Fairhaven, Frilford Heath, Kedleston Park, Minchinhampton, Moor Park, Northamptonshire County, and Rochester & Cobham Park in England, Panmure in Scotland, and County Louth in Republic of Ireland|Ireland.[12] Final Qualifying events were then to be played on 1 July 2020 with at least twelve places in the championship available. The events were to be hosted at Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland, and Notts (Hollinwell), Prince's and St Annes Old Links in England.[13]

Following the postponement of the championship to 2021, the R&A announced in March 2021 that regional qualifying would be held on 26 and 27 June at Notts (Hollinwell), Prince's, St Annes Old Links and West Lancashire, with final qualifying at each venue on 29 June. The announcement also confirmed that least eight places would be available through final qualifying.[14] In May, the number of available places was increased to the usual twelve.[10]

Media[edit]

The 2020 Open Championship was to be televised by Comcast in both the United Kingdom and the United States, domestically in the UK with the Sky Sports brand, and in the United States by their Golf Channel brand, including broadcast network coverage on weekends.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Originally Week 21, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Additional criteria added in December 2020, following cancellation earlier in the year.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 2020 winner added as criteria were revised in December 2020.
  4. ^ Originally the 2020 BMW International Open.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h 2021 winner added as criteria were revised in December 2020.
  6. ^ Originally the 2020 Travelers Championship.
  7. ^ The 2020 Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup Golf was cancelled.
  8. ^ Due to disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Japan Golf Tour season was joined with the 2021 tournament schedule to create a 2020–21 season.
  9. ^ Originally the leading player, not already exempt, on the 2020 Japan Golf Tour Official Money List through the Japan Golf Tour Championship.
  10. ^ The 2020 Senior Open was cancelled.
  11. ^ a b c Exemption forfeited by turning professional.
  12. ^ The 2020 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship was cancelled.
  13. ^ The 2021 Latin America Amateur Championship was cancelled.
  14. ^ a b c Category added in June 2021.
  15. ^ Category added in May 2021.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Royal Troon to host 2023 Open, extending Muirfield and Turnberry wait". Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Statement from the R&A on the COVID-19 pandemic". TheOpen.com. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  3. ^ "The 149th Open cancelled for this year and will return to Sandwich in 2021". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  4. ^ "Royal St George's". Mackenzie and Ebert. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  5. ^ "RoyalStGeorge-London". Google Maps. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  6. ^ "The Open 2020 golf championship in Sandwich: Everything you need to know including tickets and transport". KentOnline. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Royal St George's Course Guide". theopen.com. R&A Championships Limited. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Exemptions for The 149th Open | Updates confirmed ahead of Championship at Royal St George's". The Open Championship. The R&A. 18 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  9. ^ "The 149th Open | Exemptions". The Open Championship. The R&A. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Final Qualifying to offer additional four places". The Open Championship. The R&A. 17 May 2021.
  11. ^ "The 149th Open: Irish Open among events to offer additional qualifying places for Royal St George's". Sky Sports. 4 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Regional Qualifying 2020". theopen.com. The R&A. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Final Qualifying 2020". theopen.com. The R&A. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  14. ^ "The 149th Open: Revised qualifying format revealed by R&A for Royal St George's". Sky Sports. PA Media. 10 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
2021 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
2022 Masters