R&A announces global qualifying series as new route of entry into The Open

Mon 28 Oct 2013

R&A announces global qualifying series as new route of entry into The Open

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St Andrews, Scotland, October 28: A new international qualifying series featuring the Emirates Australian Open is being introduced for The Open Championship which takes place at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) from July 13 to 20, 2014.
The Open Qualifying Series will comprise 14 events in nine countries on five continents and will offer players the opportunity to qualify for golf’s oldest Major Championship at prestigious events on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Japan Golf Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
The Qualifying Series will commence with the Emirates Australian Open which runs from November 28 to December 1, 2013.
Nine qualifying places will be available on both the PGA and European Tours. Players will be able to qualify on the PGA Tour at each of the AT&T National, The Greenbrier Classic and the John Deere Classic*. In Europe, players will be able to qualify at the Irish Open, the Alstom Open de France and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open prior to The Open.
Qualifying places will also be available at the Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour, The Open Qualifying Series – Thailand and the Joburg Open in South Africa.
Peter Dawson, the Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “This is a significant change to the qualifying process for The Open and one which will make the Championship as open as possible to players from around the world.
“The new Open Qualifying Series will create an exciting build-up to The Open as players bid to secure their places in the weeks leading up to the Championship. We believe it will enhance the qualification process by giving players the opportunity to qualify at 72-hole championships as well as being more convenient in terms of their scheduling.
“We are very much looking forward to The Open 2014 Qualifying Series getting underway next month in Australia.”
Golf Australia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Pitt said the announcement was a terrific development for one of the most respected championships in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Naturally we are delighted that the Emirates Australian Open has been chosen as the host championship for the The Open Qualifying Series – Australia. It adds further prestige to Australia’s most coveted title and gives our competitors a wonderful opportunity to earn direct qualification into golf’s oldest Major,” Pitt said.
“Headed by Masters champion Adam Scott, it certainly adds even more excitement to this year’s championship at Royal Sydney Golf Club. Not only will the fans witness the battle for the Emirates Australian Open title but we’ll also see three players earn their places at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool next July.”
Defending Emirates Australian Open champion Peter Senior said, “I think this is a fantastic development both for the event itself and for the PGA Tour of Australasia. It will add another dimension to the tournament, giving the guys the chance to secure places in The Open Championship.
“It is a great experience to play in The Open and to take on some of these wonderful links courses. I have played it in many times and was fortunate enough to qualify through International Final Qualifying for St Andrews in 2010. The field at Royal Sydney will know there is an added incentive for them to play well and try to secure a place in The Open at Royal Liverpool.”
Tim Finchem, the Commissioner of the PGA Tour, said, “We welcome this initiative from The R&A which will offer qualifying places at three events on the PGA Tour in the lead-up to The Open. This will give the players a clear pathway to secure their place in The Open at three prestigious events and create some added interest as players try to qualify for the world’s oldest Major Championship.”
George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “Incorporating the new Qualifying Series within three of The European Tour’s strongest tournaments on three of Europe’s finest courses will ensure qualifiers of the highest quality progress through to The Open Championship in July. We are delighted to support The R&A in this change which will be warmly welcomed by The European Tour membership.”
The Open Qualifying Series will replace International Final Qualifying (IFQ) for The Open Championship which was introduced in 2004 and involved 36-hole qualifying events in Australasia, Asia, Africa, America and Europe.
Final Qualifying for The Open Championship has also been changed for 2014.  Final Qualifying will continue to offer three places at each of four events in the UK but for the first time next year they will be played at four venues covering Scotland and the North-west, Central and South-coast regions of England to provide a more accessible route into The Open for competitors qualifying from the 13 Regional Qualifying events around the country. The venues are: Gailes Links, Hillside, Woburn and Royal Cinque Ports.
For more information visit TheOpen.com.
Ends.
Notes to editors:
The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) will offer the following qualification places in The Open Championship:











































































Open Qualifying SeriesEventNo of placesDetail
OQS-AustraliaThe Emirates Australian Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-South AfricaThe Joburg Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-ThailandThe Open Qualifying Series - Thailand4four places to the leading four players
OQS-JapanThe Mizuno Open4four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
OQS-IrelandThe Irish Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-FranceAlstom Open de France3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-ScotlandAberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-USAAT&T National4four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
OQS-USAThe Greenbrier Classic4four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
OQS-USAJohn Deere Classic1*one place to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties
OQS-Final QualifyingGailes Links
Hillside
Royal Cinque Ports
Woburn
12Three places available at each event

*There is one place in the John Deere Classic due to the logistics of qualifiers travelling to play in The Open at short notice.
NB: Any player who has qualified through The Open Qualifying Series is deemed an exempt player. In the event that that player subsequently fulfils other exemption categories those places in the starting field will be subject to Section G of The Open Championship Entry Form (i.e. these places will be made available to the highest ranked players on OWGR after the close of entries).
The Open Championship:
The 143rd Open Championship will be played at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from 13-20 July, 2014.
The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on British links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.
Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.
Further information:
The R&A-Communications
+44 (0) 1334 460000
media@randa.org
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.