On Monday 25 June, more than 1,000 hopefuls will strive to put themselves on the road to Carnoustie via 13 Regional Qualifying events held across Great Britain and Ireland.
Here’s everything you need to know about what players will need to go through to reach The 147th Open as they look to earn their shot at Claret Jug glory.
What is Regional Qualifying?
The 147th Open will be contested by 156 players varying from Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth to amateur golfers hoping to take the next step in their golfing career.
Regional Qualifying is the first stage of qualification for professionals and amateurs with a handicap of scratch or better, and will take place at 13 top-quality venues across Scotland, England and Ireland.
Successful players will progress into one of four Final Qualifying tournaments held in July, where they will compete directly for a spot at golf’s oldest major.
When is Regional Qualifying?
On Monday 25 June, players up and down the country will tee off in 13 separate tournaments. Entry for spectators is free so head along to one of the qualifying venues to support the players.
Where is it held?
To provide qualifying opportunities for players across Great Britain and Ireland, Regional Qualifying will take place at no less than 13 prestigious venues.
In the north of England, competitors will tackle Alwoodley, in Leeds, West Lancashire – the county’s oldest golf club, Goswick, set on the Northumberland coastline, and Fairhaven, which was first designed by five-time Champion Golfer of the Year James Braid.
In the Midlands, hopefuls will play in the shadow of Kedleston Hall as they play at Kedleston Park in Derbyshire while Northamptonshire County hosts a Regional Qualifying event for the first time since 2002.
The south of England will see five tournaments take place, with another historic clubhouse awaiting competitors at Burhill, in Surrey.
Wildernesse, in Kent, offers a similarly rich history, as does Sandy Lodge in Middlesex. Southern-based golfers will face Frilford Heath, designed by JH Taylor, a former Champion Golfer of the Year who also helped lay out Royal Birkdale, and Minchinhampton in the heart of the Cotswolds, last a Regional Qualifying venue in 2007.
On the east coast of Ireland, Regional Qualifying will also take place at County Louth Golf Club – the host venue for the 2009 Irish Open. And, in Scotland and just a stone’s throw from Carnoustie, is Panmure, the 16th-oldest golf club in the world.
Ones to watch
Top-quality competition is expected at all 13 venues. Names including 2005 Silver Medal winner Lloyd Saltman are hoping to return to The Open this summer.
A number of talented amateurs are also expected to challenge strongly.
Five of the top 10 in the 2018 England Golf Order of Merit will be in action, including second-placed Bailey Gill, of Lindrick, playing at Fairhaven. Yeovil’s Thomas Plumb, who ranks fourth, will be in action at Frilford Heath while sixth-placed Nicholas Poppleton, of Wath, will be at Alwoodley.
Eighth-placed Callum Farr enjoys home advantage at Northamptonshire County and ninth-ranked Jack Cope, of the Players Club, competes at Minchinhampton.