St Andrews, Scotland: Gamers around the world will be able to test themselves against the unrelenting challenge of links golf with the launch of the inaugural e-Open presented by Mastercard.
The virtual stroke play tournament is taking place over the iconic links of Royal St George’s from July 13 to September 8, with qualifying events and knockout rounds running throughout July and August leading to a Grand Final showdown in September.
Players of all skill levels from beginners to advanced gamers can take part and will be powered by the WGT by Topgolf platform, the world’s most realistic free virtual golf game which has been enjoyed worldwide by more than 28 million players.
Neil Armit, Chief Commercial Officer at The R&A, said: “We have seen esports become hugely popular and enjoyed by gamers all around the world. The e-Open presented by Mastercard will give golf fans a unique opportunity on a global platform to challenge themselves against other gamers in a virtual tournament over Royal St George’s.
“We have been working on The e-Open for some time now and are pleased to be able to launch the inaugural tournament during what was due to be the week of the Championship this year. It will complement The Open for The Ages, which is being broadcast this Sunday as a very special celebration of the Championship.”
Cheng Yu-chiang, President of Topgolf Media, said: “We are excited to share The Open experience digitally with fans throughout the world. With new advances to our live stream capabilities, our WGT by Topgolf platform makes accessible one of the most prestigious tournaments on the same course as the pros, outfitted with first-hand challenges, rewards and nuances of Royal St George’s.
“We are humbled to be selected by The R&A to produce the first ever official e-Open and allow anyone with a smartphone or computer to have the chance to win it.”
As presenting partner of The e-Open, and Official Patron of The Open, Mastercard is helping to make sure that the first e-Open will be one fans will not forget. During the qualifying round, two Mastercard golf ambassadors will take part in a priceless experience by swapping their clubs for keyboards and go head-to-head in a live Exhibition Match to be played over Royal St George’s. Fans will be able to tune into the live action in what will prove to be a highlight of the new tournament.
World class prizes will be on offer for the champion of The e-Open (subject to eligibility as defined in the Official Rules and Regulations), including a once-in-a-lifetime experience at The 149th Open at Royal St George’s next year. Exclusive content and digital experiences will also be made available for fans through Priceless.com.
The e-Open presented by Mastercard started on July 13 with official qualification stages now open for entry. The tournament will be played through a series of rounds over the coming weeks in a longer style format. Following qualification, a competitive knockout stage will be played from August 27-30 before the Grand Final is contested by the best players on September 8.
Visit TheOpen.com for more information on how to enter The e-Open.