Martin Slumbers put the debate to bed once and for all...

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R&A Chief Executive Settles The Great ‘Open’ Debate

It’s one of the most frivolous debates that arises every time golf’s oldest championship comes around: What name should be given to the UK’s major?

For Americans who class the US Open as ‘the Open’, it tends to be ‘The British Open’, while others call it ‘The Open Championship‘.

However, in today’s R&A media press conference, the governing body’s chief executive Martin Slumbers weighed in.

Check out his response below:

“I think it says so behind me, doesn’t it? It’s The Open,” Slumbers grinned.

So there you it. For those unaware or are perhaps still in denial, it’s The Open.

But what does it actually mean to be an ‘Open’? Well, the answer is simple: it means it is open to all golfers, should they qualify, of course.

In that sense, The Open and the US Open are different to The Masters, for example. When April comes around the Augusta National gates are opened to welcome some of the best players in the world who have been invited to the year’s first major.

There is no annual qualifying series where budding amateurs and pros can pitch up and have a crack at booking their place among the greats of the game.

Related: The Open 2021 betting tips

It is for this reason that some view the battle for the Green Jacket as lesser and, in extreme cases, even unworthy of its major status.

However, there can be no doubting the prestige on offer at Royal St George’s this week. Whoever leaves Sandwich in possession of the Claret Jug will have won golf’s oldest tournament, which dates all the way back to 1860 when Willie Park Sr triumphed over Old Tom Morris by two strokes at Prestwick.

Shane Lowry comes into the event as the defending champion having eclipsed the field in tremendous fashion at Royal Portrush two years ago, while Darren Clarke won his maiden major the last time this championship was contested over the Kent layout in 2011.