Golf blog: The Open Qualifying
£5.25 million, a place in history and possessing one of the most coveted trophies in the world of sport. The Open Championship.
On the 18th July a field of 156 leading golfers will embark on Muirfield to compete for the 3rd major of the year. Or, so you would think.
The expression ‘leading' golfers is inaccurate and misleading to what the eventual representation will be, because the whole qualification process is absolutely farcical.
There have already been 5 ‘International Field Qualifying' tournaments around the world and a total of 27 players made it through - leaving out some of the best players outside the already exempt top 50 without much hope of making The Open.
The likes of two-time 2013 Australian winner Brett Rumford, currently 84th in the world rankings is currently missing out. When you think compatriot Steven Jeffress (no me neither) qualified through the Australasian section, does it not make you wonder whether this is an accurate system to bring together the best and (for me more importantly) most in-form players together for this historic major?
You may argue that with its title, the invitation should be open to everyone in the world and yes in part I agree with that, but considering this is the flagship European Tour event, it is laughable that many 2013 winners on the Tour will not be there.
The Masters allows winners from the past year an exemption to the tournament and in my eyes the same should apply at The Open.
I am all for giving everyone a chance and the Local Final Qualifying this week will give 12 places to the touring pro. I just think the R&A need a re-think and it is a shame that so many of the 2013 winners will have to watch it on T.V at home.
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Lewis was a freelance writer for Golf Monthly in 2013.
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