Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie to host 2017 and 2018 Opens

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The R&A have announced that Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie will host the 2017 and 2018 Open Championships.

Royal Birkdale will host the 2017 Open Championship and Carnoustie will welcome the championship in 2018.

Five-time Open Champion Tom Watson, who won The Open at Royal Birkdale in 1983 and at Carnoustie in 1975, joined the R&A to make the announcement at the Greenbrier.

“I am delighted to see The Open returning to two great venues in Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie,” he said.

“I know both courses are held in high regard by the players and I certainly consider them to be wonderful tests of golf.

“Royal Birkdale is also a fine links course and I have always thoroughly enjoyed playing there. I think the players and the fans will be excited to see the top players playing these courses once again.”

Royal Birkdale will host The Open for the tenth time in 2017. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington won by four shots from Ian Poulter the last time the Championship was played there in 2008. Mark O’ Meara, Ian Baker-Finch , Peter Thomson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Johnny Miller are the other past champions there.

Richard Hunt, the captain of Royal Birkdale, said, “The club has a long and proud history of hosting The Open and some of the game’s greatest players have won here. We regard it as a privilege to host the Championship and look forward to seeing the world’s top players facing the challenges of Royal Birkdale once again.”
The Open Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale from 20-23 July 2017 and at Carnoustie from 19-22 July 2018. Meanwhile Carnoustie will host the Open for the eighth time in 2018, and it will be the first since Harrington lifted the Claret Jug there in 2007 after defeating Sergio Garcia in a play-off. In 1999, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie triumphed in a play-off and Ben Hogan famously won there in 1953. The other winners at the Angus links are Tommy Armour (1931), Henry Cotton (1937) and Gary Player (1968).

Pat Sawers, chairman of Carnoustie Golf Links, said, “We are very much looking forward to welcoming The Open Championship back for an eighth time to the historic links at Carnoustie in 2018 and feel sure the Championship will generate just as much interest and excitement as in previous years.

“We believe the fact The R&A has invited us to stage the 2018 Championship will provide a big boost to golf in the local area and will have a beneficial effect on our on-going efforts to attract more local youngsters into the game,” she said.

The Open Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale from 20-23 July 2017 and at Carnoustie from 19-22 July 2018.

The announcement would also appear to pave the way for Royal Portrush to host the Open in 2019, having recently been re-admitted to the Open circuit. It is also believed that St Andrews will hold the historic 150th Open in 2021, with the 2020 venue yet to be announced.

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