Dundonald Links has been selected as one of the four golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland as new venues to stage Final Qualifying for The Open.
Dundonald Links, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Cinque Ports and West Lancashire will host qualifying events starting in 2023 until 2026 when tour players, club professionals and elite amateurs compete for places in golf’s original championship.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “We have selected four renowned venues to host Final Qualifying from 2023 and each of them has an outstanding reputation for hosting championships and international matches.
“We look forward to working with them to stage a series of exciting events in which golfers will compete for a sought-after place in The Open. We have enjoyed working with Fairmont St Andrews, Hollinwell, Prince’s and St Annes Old Links in staging Final Qualifying in recent years and I would like to thank them for their support.”
Dundonald Links hosted the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the first time in 2017 and also held the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In doing so, it became the first venue to host the men’s and women’s Scottish Opens in the same year. The R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship was played there in 2014, while qualifying for the Senior Open presented by Rolex and a DP World Tour Qualifying School have also taken place there. The Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open will be played at the Ayrshire links this year.
Burnham & Berrow will become a Final Qualifying venue for the first time in the club’s history in 2023. It has staged several prestigious amateur championships including the Women’s Amateur Championship, the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship and the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
Royal Cinque Ports first staged The Open in 1909 when JH Taylor won the Championship for a fourth time before George Duncan lifted the Claret Jug at the Kent links in 1920. It has previously been a venue for Final Qualifying, as well as staging The Amateur Championship on three occasions in 1923, 1982 and 2013. It hosted the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship last year, won by Jack Bigham.
West Lancashire has a renowned reputation for staging professional and amateur championships and celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2023. It hosted the Women’s Amateur Championship in 2020 having also co-staged The Amateur Championship with Formby in 2009. In 2014, it was the venue for the Junior Open and has also been a regular venue for Final Qualifying.
Ian Ferguson, General Manager at Dundonald Links said “We are absolutely thrilled that Dundonald Links has been chosen as a venue for Final Qualifying for The Open, alongside three other fantastic golf courses. Since our development, the team have worked incredibly hard to ensure we are delivering an exceptional experience for all those that come to visit, and this is testament to that work. The history associated with The Open is wonderful, and to be able to play a very small part of that is a huge honour”.
Final Qualifying is contested by a combined field of 288 players, including those who have been successful in Regional Qualifying events, with a minimum of 12 places in The Open available.