Smith set to defend Claret Jug as R&A confirm exemption categories for 151st Open

Ronan MacNamara

Cameron Smith (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The R&A has confirmed the schedule of events that will make up The Open Qualifying Series for 2023 and the exemption categories for The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool.

Golfers aiming to book their place in The Open will have opportunities at 15 professional events in nine countries and a total of 34 places are available through events being played around the world on the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The number of places at Final Qualifying has been increased by four to provide a minimum of 16 places through events being held at Burnham & Berrow, Dundonald Links, Royal Cinque Ports and West Lancashire on 4 July.

Smith won last year’s 150th Open at St Andrews and is among the 21 Open champions who fall under the past champion exemption. Other LIV Golf members who have won the Open and will compete at Royal Liverpool include Louis Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson.

Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau each finished inside the top 10 at last year’s Open to meet that exemption while Brooks Koepka (2018 U.S. Open) and Patrick Reed (2018 Masters) qualified through their recent major victories.

Richard Bland and new LIV Golf member Thomas Pieters qualified by finishing inside the top 30 in last year’s Race to Dubai, while Joaquin Niemann and Talor Gooch qualify through their top 30 finishes in the FedExCup.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “We have created an exciting schedule of events which takes in many regions around the world and provides the chance for golfers to earn a place in The Open at Royal Liverpool. We are grateful to our colleagues at the professional tours for their support and look forward to seeing who emerges from each event to book a sought-after place in the Championship this year.”

Three PGA TOUR events are included in the schedule, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, the Wells Fargo Championship and the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday. Each event will offer three qualifying places.

In Asia, a total of ten places will be available through the World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club on the Asian Tour, the Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour and the KOLON Korea Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Korean Golf Association and Asian Tour.

On the DP World Tour, three places will be awarded at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo, Made in HimmerLand and Genesis Scottish Open.

Six golfers have already earned places through the Joburg Open and ISPS HANDA Australian Open which were played at the end of last year.

In a change to previous criteria, qualifying places will now be awarded to the leading players who make the cut and are not already exempt as of the closing date of entries for The Open on 1 June.

Any golfer earning a qualifying place who then becomes exempt under one or more categories before the closing date of entries will result in that place being awarded to the next non-exempt golfer, which will determined by a reserve list for each event played before 1 June.

The R&A has also confirmed the exemption categories for The 151st Open and a new exemption has been added for elite amateur golfers in which the player who accumulates the most points awarded by the World Amateur Golf Ranking® in the St Andrews Links Trophy, The Amateur Championship and European Amateur Championship will earn a place in The Open.

The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup exemption, which rotated each year, has been removed while the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup exemption is not included for 2023 as the event will not be played this year.

For the full list of exemptions click here

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.