Three of England’s finest golf courses have been named as hosting qualifying venues for this year’s Senior Open Championship, with an overseas qualifier set to take place in the United States for the first time in the championship’s history.
Bearwood Lakes Golf Club, Burhill Golf Club, Hindhead Golf Club in England, and Firestone Country Club (Fazio Course) in Akron, Ohio, United States, will play host to hopefuls in their bid to secure a spot in Europe’s only Senior Major Championship when it returns to the Old Course at Sunningdale Golf Club from July 22-25, 2021, a year after the Championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of spots will be available for players hoping to tee it up alongside some of the world’s greatest over-50s players at the stunning Berkshire venue.
A record 591 players entered qualifying events in 2018, while 525 golfers fought for 49 places at The 2019 Senior Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Burhill’s New Course was opened in 2001 and hosted Regional Qualifying for The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, while Bearwood Lakes, which opened in 1996, is set amidst 200 acres of beautiful Berkshire countryside and was one of the host venues for the Rose Ladies Series in 2020.
Hindhead Golf Club, which was founded in 1904 and ranks among Britain’s best, is a true Surrey heathland course and hosted Regional Qualifying for The Open from 2000 – 2005.
Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio will host qualifying for the first time, on the Fazio Course, which was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2002. The links-inspired course will play host to Qualifying on June 21, in the lead up to the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, which will be contested from June 24-27 on Firestone’s South Course.
David Williams, Tournament Director of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex, said: “We have chosen four fine golf courses to stage the Qualifying events for The Senior Open in 2021 and they will provide a true test of golf for the hundreds of players aiming to earn a spot at Sunningdale Golf Club.
“We thank our friends at PGA TOUR Champions for their support in helping us stage a qualifier in the United States as we provide the best opportunity to American golfers to take part in this prestigious Championship.
“After last year’s tournament was cancelled, we are extremely excited for this year’s Championship and the qualifying events will be a thrilling start to the week.”
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “We are greatly looking forward to the return of the Senior Open at Sunningdale and to the drama of the Qualifying events at four such outstanding courses.
“We appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the PGA TOUR Champions in staging an additional qualifying event this year at Firestone which will give players from around the world the opportunity to qualify and greatly assist us amid the continuing challenges with travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The qualifying events in England are planned to be held on July 19, 2021, with official practice days taking place on July 17-18. The qualifying event at Firestone CC will take place on June 21. To be eligible for entry, players must have a handicap of 0.4 or lower and to download an entry form, please click here.