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How to qualifying for the Open
Background to qualifying
This is the story on how to qualify for the Open golf championships.
Qualifying started in 1907 and is designed to reduce the entrance down to the field size for that year’s championships. From 1926 was the first year when cut and qualifying was introduced, which is the way it’s done until 1962, where everyone was required to qualify the day before.
In 1963 exceptions from qualifying started, with past champions given an opportunity to return, this has been extended further and further until today its multitudes of evens give golfers the opportunity to qualify.
In the 1980s the R&A started the Official World Golf rankings to be used as part of the exception process for qualifying for the open.
Until 2004 all qualifying was done within the UK, but this then changed so that players did not need to travel to the UK to qualify.
This was further changed in 2014 by the Open Qualifying series.
Exemptions from qualifying to the open
- Previous champions under 60
- Winners of selected tournaments for the last number of years in brackets
- The top 10 and ties from last years Open
- Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking Week 21 (The open is 8 weeks later)
- Top finishers in the previous year’s selected golf tours
- Performance in the current year for week 25 (The Open is 4 weeks later)
- Current Holders of selected Amateur titles (As long as they are still amateur)
- Via the Qualifying series, which is 12 events run by golf tours, the number of places available on that tournament out of the top places of that year. This only applies to players not already exempted. The tours are
- Emirates Australian Open – 3 places in the top 10.
- South African Open – 3 places in the top 10.
- SMBC Singapore Open – 4 places in the top 12.
- Arnold Palmer Invitational – 3 places in the top 10.
- Mizuno Open – 4 places in the top 12.
- Trophy Hassan || – 1 place in the top 5
- RBC Canadian Open – 3 places in the top 10.
- Kolon Korea Open – 2 places in the top 8.
- Andalucia Valderrama Masters – 3 places in the top 10.
- Rocket Mortgage classic – 2 places in the top 8.
- Travellers Championships – 2 places in the top 8
- Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open – 4 places in the top 12.
- Aberdeen Standard Investment Scottish Open 4 places in the top 12.
- John Deere Classic 1 place in the top 5.
Local and final qualifying for the Open
12 players qualify in the United Kingdom Local Qualifying – There are 13 evens of 36 holes held on a single day approx 3 weeks before the Open. It is open to any of the following:
- Male professional golfer
- Male amateur golfer whose handicap does not exceed scratch
- Male amateur golfer who has been within the top 2,000 of the World Amateur Golf ranking during the last calendar year.
- Female golfer who finishes in the top 5 of any of the woman’s majors.
– A week later the best golfers then progress, where there are four events of 36 holes on a single day, with three qualifyings from each event. In addition to the best performers, the following can also compete:
- Past champions of The Open.
- Any competitor with an Official World Golf Ranking in the top 1,000 and ties on the date of entry.
- Past champions of the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.
- Anyone who played in last held edition of the Open.
- First 10 and anyone tying for 10th place in the Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship.
- First 10 and anyone tying for 10th place in the PGA of America Professional Championship.
- Past playing members of Ryder and Presidents Cup Teams.
- Playing members of the 5 leading teams and ties in the Eisenhower Trophy.
- Playing members in the last St Andrews Trophy.
- The Amateur champions in the last 6 years.
- The U.S. Amateur champions in the last 6 years.
- The European Amateur champions in the last 6 years.
- The current English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh Amateur champions, from the respective closed Amateur Championships.
- The current runners-up in each of the Amateur Championship and European Amateur, and the U.S. Amateur.
- The leading 10 World Amateur Golf Ranking players, not otherwise exempt as at calendar week 21.
- The current Boys Amateur champion.
- The current Latin America Amateur champion and runner(s)-up.
- The current Asia-Pacific Amateur runners(s)-up. This is only applicable if the entrant has not played in the OQS Singapore.