One last hurdle stands in the way of hopefuls with ambitions of teeing it up at Royal Portrush for The 148th Open as they compete for the 12 places on offer at Final Qualifying.
Three qualifying spots will be available at four courses across the UK on Tuesday 2 July, with Notts (Hollinwell), Prince’s, St Annes Old Links and the Fairmont St Andrews on hosting duties. Players who come through the 13 Regional Qualifying events will be joined by leading players without exemption for The Open for a 36-hole shootout at each course.
Only 156 players will have a chance to contest The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, with the field largely consisting of the world’s leading players. Past winners, such as last year’s Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari, earn automatic exemption – as does the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking. But as its name clearly states, the oldest and most prestigious major in golf also offers up the opportunity for those not in the elite bracket to make the start list. Final Qualifying is the last stage of the process for non-Tour pros or amateurs with a handicap of scratch or better, along with players who did not meet the exemption criteria.
The Fairmont St Andrews plays host to Final Qualifying for The 148th Open at Royal Portrush on 2 July 2019. A composite layout will be designed for the event from both the Kittocks and Torrance courses respectively.
Regarded as one of the country’s best-kept secrets, Notts (Hollinwell) is a stunning course set in the gentle rolling hills of north Nottinghamshire.
Formed in November 1887, Hollinwell held its first competition the following month on Bulwell Common.
The course was completed in 1906 with a layout that was among the first to counter the longer distances being achieved with the new breed of rubber-core golf balls. At over 7,000 yards, it quickly gained a great reputation as a top quality links and an excellent test of golf.
In 1932 The Open visited Prince’s for what would prove to be the first and only time. Gene Sarazen set a new scoring record for the Championship of 283 using his newly invented sand wedge. The present-day 27-hole layout is the result of a 1950 re-design following war-time damage to the original course which was redesigned and rebuilt by Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison.
Prince's Golf Club, located adjacent to Royal St George’s, the venue for The 149th Open in 2020.
Founded in 1901, St Annes Old Links is one of the fine championship links of England’s north west coast and hosted Final Qualifying in 2017 after a five year absence. The venue is located in close proximity to Royal Lytham & St Annes