Senior Open qualifiers at Blairgowrie, Glenbervie and Ladybank in 2022
Three of the top inland courses in the country have been added to the impressive list of venues in Scotland set to stage top-class tournaments in 2022.
It follows Blairgowrie, Glenbervie and Ladybank being confirmed as the qualifying venues for the Senior Open presented by Rolex as it pays its first visit to Gleneagles.
Europe’s only senior major will be played on the King’s Course on 21-24 July, with four separate 18-hole shoot-outs taking place on the Monday of that week.
Blairgowrie will host an event on each of its two courses - the Lansdowne and Rosemount - with other hopefuls heading to Glenbervie and Ladybank to try and secure a spot in the field for the over-50s Claret Jug.
“The quality of these golf courses speak for themselves,” said David Williams, The Senior Open’s tournament director. “And we, along with our partners at the R&A and Gleneagles, are extremely happy with the tough but fair tests these venues will provide to hopefuls aiming to earn a spot in next year’s championship.”
While the entry process had not yet started, it seems likely that the decision to host The Senior Open at Gleneagles for the first time is likely to attract a big field for the qualifying.
The last time the event was held in Scotland, in 2018 at St Andrews, it boasted a record entry of 591 before dropping to 393 at four venues in the south east of England for last year’s edition at Sunningdale.
Blairgowrie has hosted numerous national championships, as well as the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup, while Glenbervie was a popular venue at one time for the Scottish PGA Championship.
Ladybank is also no stranger to high-profile events, having hosted final qualifying for The Open on seven occasions since 1978.
The Senior Open comes straight after the 150th Open at St Andrews, which takes place the week after the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.
In a fourth straight week of top-class golf, the Hero Open then takes place at Fairmont St Andrews at the same time as Dundonald Links is staging the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.
The qualifying events are likely to be the main avenue for a number of Scottish players, both professionals and amateurs, as they bid to join exempt players like Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie in flying the Saltire at Gleneagles.
Panmure pro Andrew Crerar, for example, has passed the test twice in a row to earn his chance to rub shoulders with some of the game’s greats.
Meanwhile, David Drysdale and Richie Ramsay both dug deep to make solid starts in the Joburg Open, the opening event on the rebranded 2022 DP World Tour.
The Scottish duo signed for matching level-par 71s at Randpark after both players found themselves two-over at the turn on the Firethorn Course.
As England’s Ashley Chesters and Spaniard Angel Hidalgo set the pace with 65s, new card holder Craig Howie and Liam Johnston had tough days with 77 and 79 respectively.
The tone for Howie’s round had been set by a bogey-double bogey-bogey start while Johnston had an 8 on his card.
In the LET’s season-ending Andalucia Costa del Sol Open, Michele Thomson opened with a two-over 74 at Los Naranjos, near Marbella, to sit just five shots off the lead.
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