It has been confirmed next year’s Irish Open at Mount Juliet will again offer three spots into what will now be the 150th hosting of the Open Championship.
The R&A, as organisers of golf’s oldest major have advised that the top-three finishers (not otherwise exempt) and who finish inside the top-10 in next July’s 67th hosting of Ireland’s premier event, will be afforded tee-times a fortnight later on the Old Course at St Andrews.
The huge boost in prize money to $US6m should also make for a stellar field at Thomastown.
Ireland has four players already exempt into the 2022 Open and they’re each former winners of golf’s oldest major – Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.
The continuing effects of Covid around the golfing world has seen some big changes to tournaments now handed Open Championship qualifying status with a total 46 players qualifying in 16 events on the world’s major tours being held in 11 countries.
Already three players have booked their 150th Open spots having qualified from the recent Joburg Open.
The absence at this time of year or early into 2022 of an Australian Open, and one of golf’s oldest national championships having been first hosted in 1904, has seen the R&A present the March 31st to April 3rd, 2022 New Zealand Open with three places into the 2022 Open Championship. The New Zealand Open also is a co-sanctioned Australasian and Japan Tour event.
Travel restrictions saw last month’s planned Australian Open moved to January but with the event hoping now to go ahead at the end of 2022.
As well, next month’s Singapore Open at the Sentosa club from 20th to 23rd January, 2022 will also be offering three Open Championship tee times.
Another big winner will be the 2022 Barbarsol Championship on the PGA Tour, won this year by Ireland’s Seamus Power with one spot up for grabs into The Open, with the event being held the same week (July 7th to 10th) as the DP World Tour’s Genesis Scottish Open that again offers three places
The Dutch Open, being held in the last week of May, is another one winning and the chance for the top-three finishers, not already exempt, to also earn a place in The Open.
The PGA Tour stops at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 3rd to 6th), RBC Canadian Open (June 9th to 12th) and the John Deere Classic (June 30th to July 3rd) which will also carry three invitations into The Open.
There will be four places also on offer at the Mizuno Open in Japan and two places at the KOLON Korea Open. Of course, there will be all the other exemptions in place via the other three majors, WGC winners, along with the various tour money-lists along with premier tour events along with past Open champions.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at the R&A, said: “We have worked closely with our colleagues at the leading professional tours to agree on an exciting schedule of events through which golfers can qualify for the 150th Open at St. Andrews.
“There is a real desire among players to be part of this historic occasion at the home of golf and this will undoubtedly spur them on to secure a sought-after place in the Championship next year.”
Regional Qualifying events will take place at venues throughout Great Britain and Ireland on 20th of June.