(Thursday 13 October 2005)– The 135th Open Championship entry form is today published on the internet (www.opengolf.com) and, for the first time, the entry conditions include a qualification route into the Championship for women.
|Gustafson – eligible to enter Regional Qualifying|
Elsewhere on the entry form, exemptions from Regional, Local Final and International Final Qualifying have been expanded to include the leading player in the first ten and ties, not exempt, from each of the 2006 Open de France and the 2006 Buick Championship. As before, exemption is also given to the leading player, not exempt, in each of the 2006 Smurfit European Open, the 2006 Barclays Scottish Open, the 2006 Western Open and the 2006 John Deere Classic where the “first ten and ties” requirement also applies.
The entry form can be downloaded from www.opengolf.com. Closing dates for entries are: International Final Qualifying (IFQ) Africa – 5 January 2006; Australasia – 19 January 2006; Asia – 23 March 2006 and all other entries – 1 June 2006. The Open Championship entry fee is unchanged at £110.
The Weetabix Women’s British Open Championship is staged after The Open and therefore the 2005 top five and ties eligible to enter Regional Qualifying for the 2006 Open Championship are: 1st Jeong Jang (KOR), 2nd Sophie Gustafson (SWE), tied 3rd Young Kim (KOR), Michelle Wie (USA), and tied 5th Cristie Kerr (USA), Liselotte Neumann (SWE) and Annika Sorenstam (SWE).
International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship will be at:
Africa Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, South Africa on 16 and 17 January 2006;
Australasia Kingston Heath, Melbourne, Australia on 31 January and 1 February 2006;
Asia Sentosa, Singapore on 6 and 7 April 2006;
America Congressional, Bethesda, Maryland, USA on 26 June 2006;
Europe Sunningdale, Berkshire, England on 26 June 2006.
The Open Championship Regional Qualifying courses (16) for 18 holes of stroke play on 3 July 2006 are: Ashridge, Effingham, Little Aston, Minchinhampton, Musselburgh, Notts, Old Fold Manor, Orsett, Pannal, Pleasington, Prestbury, Rochester & Cobham Park, Royal Ashdown Forest, Silloth on Solway, The Island and Trentham.
The Open Championship Local Final Qualifying courses (4) for 36 holes of stroke play on 10 and 11 July 2006 are: Conwy (Caernarvonshire), Formby, Wallasey and West Lancashire.
The R&A is golf’s world rules and development body and organiser of The Open Championship. It operates with the consent of more than 125 national and international, amateur and professional organisations, from over 110 countries and on behalf of an estimated 28 million golfers in Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and The Americas (outside the USA and Mexico). The United States Golf Association (USGA) is the game’s governing body in the United States and Mexico.
Following publication this morning of the entry form for the 2006 Open Championship, a clash of dates has come to light which will affect the availability of women eligible to play in Regional Qualifying, originally planned for 3 July.
The final day’s play in the 2006 US Women’s Open at Newport CC, Newport, Rhode Island is scheduled for 2 July and it is clearly anticipated that the majority of women golfers eligible to enter Regional Qualifying will be competing at this event.
Accordingly, The R&A will adjust the dates of the 2006 Regional Qualifying Competition to allow eligible women golfers to compete.
The R&A apologises for this oversight and an announcement of adjusted Regional Qualifying dates will be made as soon as possible.