The Open: Royal and Ancient dismiss idea of overseas hosts
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 17/07/19 2:55pm
Royal and Ancient have ruled out moving The Open around on a global stage and also dismissed the prospect of incorporating new venues into the current rota in the United Kingdom.
Royal Portrush, which is hosting the oldest major for the first time in 68 years, is on a 10-course rota and the R&A revealed on Wednesday that the 148th Open will be the second-highest attended in the competition's history.
Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington suggested it would be logical for the event to be played around the world, but chief executive Martin Slumbers rejected that idea.
"There's been a lot of talk about that this week. And a lot of it is due to the great success of bringing it to Royal Portrush for the first time for a long, long time," Slumbers said.
"But we have 10 courses in the pool that we use for The Open Championship. We think that's 10 of the best links courses that we have in the world and we are very happy with those 10 courses.
"We have gone to - if you think about over the last few years coming back to Carnoustie, going back to Hoylake, were great successes. And I think by any stretch this week is a great success.
"I think that Hoylake and Portrush are really venues which are going to be used and played for The Open Championship for many years to come.
"We are not looking at the moment beyond that pool of 10 courses."
The venue of Portmarnock in County Dublin has also been suggested as a possible future venue but Slumbers said there were no plans for that course to be added to the rota or one in Wales.
Asked about the chances of Wales, which hosted the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl in 2017, holding the Open, Slumbers said: "That is somewhat of a challenge at the moment, but we do have as we said ten courses that we're very happy with."
The possibility of The Open, which will head to Royal St George's next year and St Andrews in 2021, being played on an inland course was also given short shrift.
"I think The Open is all about being played on the best links golf courses. And so it's not in my mind to take it inland at all," Slumbers added.
Slumbers also ruled out The Open being played on an inland course and insisted the re-shuffling of the majors in the schedule has only helped increase the anticipation surrounding its staging this year.
It's been a pretty fast season, I have to confess. But I think it's added an additional nuance to this week.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers
"I think when I was consulted on the move of The PLAYERS Championship into March and then the PGA, I could see nothing but positives for The Open being the fourth major of the year. I think the press coverage has borne that out," he said.
"It's been a pretty fast season, I have to confess. But I think it's added an additional nuance to this week. And it probably adds a little bit additional feeling around who's going to become the champion golfer of the year."
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