St Andrews, Scotland: The road to The 145th Open at Royal Troon will begin at the Emirates Australian Open, the first of 14 events in nine countries that will make up The Open Qualifying Series for 2016.
A total of 44 places in The Open are available through the Series, which gives players the opportunity to qualify at events around the world on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Asian Tour, the Japan Golf Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
The Emirates Australian Open, to be played at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney from November 26-29, will be the first chance for players to secure a place in golf’s most international Major Championship.
The leading three players, who finish in the top-10 and ties and who are not already exempt, will qualify for The Open from July 14-17, 2016.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, R&A Executive Director – Championships, said: “Over the past two years, The Open Qualifying Series has created an exciting build-up to the Championship as players around the world bid to secure their places in The Open. We are looking forward to working with each of the Tours again to welcome an international field to Royal Troon while continuing to enhance The Open’s global appeal.”
The second event in The Open Qualifying Series will be the Thailand Golf Championship, played from December 10-13 at Amata Spring Country Club, followed by the Joburg Open in South Africa in January and the Mizuno Open in Japan in May.
Two new events will feature in the Series: on the European Tour, the Nordea Masters played from June 2-5 at Stockholm’s Bro Hof Slott Golf Course, and, on the PGA Tour, the FedEx St Jude Classic, played from June 9-12 at TPC Southwind in Tennessee.
In line with the Tour schedules, the Series has been adjusted to accommodate the return of golf to the Olympic Games in Rio but is planned to revert to its previous schedule in 2017.
The Open Qualifying Series concludes with the ALSTOM Open de France and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on the European Tour and the Quicken Loans National and the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour.
The Open is golf’s oldest championship. Played since 1860 on iconic British and Irish links courses, it is the sport’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent.
For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.
Staged by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game worldwide.
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