The road to The 147th Open at Carnoustie will begin at the Emirates Australian Open this week, the first of 15 events in ten countries that will make up The Open Qualifying Series for 2018.
The Emirates Australian Open, which is being played from 23-26 November at The Australian in Sydney, will be the first opportunity for players to secure their place at Carnoustie next year. The leading three players, who finish in the top ten and ties and who are not already exempt, will qualify for The Open at the renowned Angus links from 15-22 July 2018.
The 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year Jordan Spieth is bidding to win his third Australian Open title this week and will return as defending champion after defeating Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall in a three-way play-off at Royal Sydney last year.
Jordan Spieth said, “Lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale, knowing I had accomplished a lifelong goal of mine to win The Open, is something I’ll never forget. I’m looking forward to bringing the Claret Jug with me this week to the Emirates Australian Open. Both events have a long history of great Champions and I think it’s an incredible opportunity for the players in Australia to have three places at Carnoustie available.”
A total of 46 places in The Open are available through the Series, which provides golfers with opportunities to qualify at events around the world on the PGA TOUR, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Asian Tour, the Japan Golf Tour, the Korean Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
The KOLON Korea Open, which is organised by the Korea Golf Association, will be part of the Series for the first time in June next year and two places will be available in golf’s most international major championship to the leading non-exempt players.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “The Open Qualifying Series presents players with some wonderful opportunities to secure a place in The Open through leading Tour events around the world. The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and we pride ourselves on achieving a truly global field of 156 players.”
Three places in The Open will be on offer at the Joburg Open next month, which will be played at Randpark in Johannesburg for the first time, while four places at Carnoustie will be available at both the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club in January and the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open at The Royal Golf Club in Japan in May.
On the European Tour, three places each at the HNA Open de France, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open presented by the Rory Foundation and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open will be on offer. On the PGA TOUR, The National and the Greenbrier Classic will each have four places available, with the final place at Carnoustie to be secured at the John Deere Classic on the eve of The 147th Open.
Regional Qualifying and Final Qualifying events will take place at venues throughout Great Britain and Ireland.