Women major winners and amateurs to take part in Champions’ event for 150th Open

In announcements marking 150 days to go until the historic occasion, it has also been revealed by the R&A that a Celebration of Light will be staged in the Fife town at the end of March while a ticket resale platform is also about to be launched.

A ‘Champions’ Challenge’ was held at the Millenium Open in 2000, when all the surviving champions from Sam Snead to Paul Lawrie were invited to compete in a four-hole exhibition event.

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That will be the same number of holes for the event on Monday, 11 July, but an expanded version – it will feature a field of 48 players – is likely to provide more appealing to golf fans as it is beamed live around the world.

Nick Price, Tom Weiskopf, Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods pictured during the Champion Golfers’ Challenge ahead of the Millennium Open in 2000. Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images.

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.

“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 decision to hold such an event has been welcomed by both defending champion Collin Morikawa and five-time Open winner Tom Watson.

“It’s going to be very special to come to St Andrews for The 150th Open as defending champion and it will be a real honor to play alongside legends of our game in The R&A Celebration of Champions,” said Morikawa.

Watson, a global ambassador for The Open, commented: “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.”

The Celebration of Light is being billed as “a spectacular light and sound projection show which will be beamed onto the Clubhouse building of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews”. It will be free to attend for members of the public.

Meanwhile, fans who missed out on the event’s first-ever ticket ballot might still be able to attend the Claret Jug event.

They are being given exclusive access to purchase tickets in an Official Ticket Resale Platform, which is being set up to re-sell tickets at face value prices from fans who can no longer attend.

The R&A has also been working with Rolex, a patron of The Open, to develop a series of exclusive content which will be published via TheOpen.com in the lead up to the event.

‘The Journey’ will provide a unique insight into golf’s oldest major championship and focus on players, fans and the moments that have been written into history. The series launched today and will continue over the coming months.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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