Champions lined-up for 150th Open appetiser

The R&A this week marked 150 days to go to the 150th Open at St Andrews with the announcement of activities that will take place before the first tee shot is hit at the championship.
Collin Morikawa will be in St Andrews to defend the claret jug. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty ImagesCollin Morikawa will be in St Andrews to defend the claret jug. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Collin Morikawa will be in St Andrews to defend the claret jug. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Anticipation and excitement are growing across north east Fife as we get set to host the best players in the world at the 150th running of the major.

The St Andrews-based R&A, organisers of the Open, have confirmed plans to hold a special exhibition of golf when their celebration of champions is held in the town during the week of the tournament.

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Fans attending on Monday, July 11, will be treated to a distinguished field of the Open’s champion golfers, women’s major champions, male and female amateur champions and golfers with disability champions as they compete in a four-hole challenge over the 1st, 2nd, 17th and 18th holes of the famous Old Course.

The staging of golf’s original championship takes place from July 10 to 17, with the tournament proper teeing off on July 14.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “We are bringing together golf’s greatest names with current and future stars of the sport for a unique and very fitting exhibition over the Old Course.

"They represent the past, present and future of this wonderful sport and reflect our purpose to ensure that golf is inclusive and accessible to everyone.

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“We are very much looking forward to welcoming fans from all over the world to St Andrews for the 150th Open, and the R&A celebration of champions will be a real highlight in what already promises to be a very special week and a momentous occasion for sport.”

The R&A’s celebration of champions will feature a field of 48 golfers and be broadcast live from St Andrews to millions of fans around the world on TV and digitally via theopen.com and the championship’s social media channels.

One of the leading names from today who will compete as part of his warm-up to the tournament starting is 2021 champion golfer Collin Morikawa.

Morikawa said it will be “very special” to visit St Andrews for the 150th Open and that it would be an honour to first compete in the celebration of chamions.

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Tom Watson, a five-time champion golfer and global ambassador for the Open is another who will take part.

He too is relishing being in the town for the tournament.

He said: “The Open has provided me with so many cherished moments throughout my life and so I feel privileged to be joining a great number of champions at St Andrews later this year to celebrate this historic occasion for golf.”

Ahead of the major championship season, the R&A will also stage a celebration of light with a light and sound projection show which will be beamed onto the clubhouse building of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in late March. It will be free to attend for members of the public.

Also launching next month will be an official ticket resale platform.

Fans who were successful in the first ever ticket ballot but who can no longer attend will be able to list tickets on this platform at face-value prices. Visit www.randa.org for details.