The R&A has announced changes to the entry criteria for next year’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The new qualification criteria for 2012, published today alongside the entry form, include a change that will also see the recipient of the McCormack Medal — presented to the leading player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at the culmination of the amateur summer season — gain automatic qualification.
Other changes include a new exemption that will allow past Major Champions into International and Local Final Qualifying (IFQ/LFQ).
For 2012, Patrick Cantlay, as the recipient of the 2011 McCormack Medal, has been awarded a place at Royal Lytham.
He joins other non-professionals including the winners of the Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur and the European Amateur in qualifying automatically for The Open.
R&A Director Michael Tate said: “The Open Championship entry criteria has been designed to ensure that we have the world’s best professional and amateur players competing at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
“The WAGR has grown considerably since its launch in 2007 and now covers more than 2,500 counting events and almost 6,000 players representing 100 countries. It is only right that the player who proves to be the most consistent over the course of the amateur season competes at The Open.”
The Open Championship, golf’s oldest Major, features a number of routes of qualification for those not exempt. Along with local and regional qualifying in the UK, IFQ events will be held next year in Africa (18, 19 January, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, South Africa), America (21 May, Gleneagles Country Club, Plano, Texas, USA), Asia (1, 2 March, Amata Spring, Bangkok, Thailand), Australasia (10, 11 January, Kingston Heath, Melbourne, Australia) and Europe (25 June, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England).
For full details visit http://www.theopen.com/en/Qualification.aspx.