No Scottish venues in this year's Open qualifying stages

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.

Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug after his victory in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019. PIcture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Both stages will now be played at Hollinwell, Prince’s, St Annes Old Links and West Lancashire.

The decision has been taken so that the measures required by the UK government guidance in relation to staging events and international travel are consistent between venues.

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Regional qualifiers normally take place at a number of venues around the UK and Ireland, with Panmure having been the Scottish venue in recent years.

Under the current set up for final qualifying, one of the four courses would also normally be in Scotland, with the 2019 shoot-out having been held at Fairmont St Andrews.

On this occasion, players 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 over 36 holes at the same venue on Tuesday, 29 June.

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.

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