Open to return to Royal Birkdale, Carnoustie
With five-time Open champion and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson present, the R&A made further announcements recently that the Open Championship will return to Royal Birkdale in 2017 and Carnoustie 2018.
The R&A had announced recently that Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland had been invited to join the Open rota and it’s expected the Irish gem will play host in 2019, following recent course and infrastructural improvements.
Watson, who won The Open at Birkdale in 1983 and in a playoff over Australia’s Jack Newton to win his first title at Carnoustie in 1975, said “I am delighted to see The Open returning to two great venues in Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie. I know both courses are held in high regard by the players and I certainly consider them to be wonderful tests of golf.”
Royal Birkdale will host The Open for the tenth time in 2017 having last hosted in 2008 when Ireland’s Padraig Harrington won by four shots from Ian Poulter. Carnoustie will host the championship for the eighth time and again, for the first time since Harrington won in a play-off from Sergio Garcia in 2007.
The 2008 Championship was also memorable for Greg Norman’s magnificent bid for the Claret Jug, finishing 3rd after leading the field with a round to play in his attempt to become the oldest major champion in history at age 53.
Birkdale of course was the scene of Ian Baker-Finch’s two-shot victory over Mike Harwood in 1991 and Peter Thomson’s first and fifth wins in 1954 and 1965.
The Open Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale from 20-23 July 2017 and at Carnoustie from 19-22 July 2018.