ST ANDREWS, Scotland – Royal St. George’s will hold the 2020 British Open, the R&A announced Monday. Great Britain’s most southerly Open Championship venue will stage the event for the 15th time since it joined the rota in 1894.
The announcement comes as no real surprise. Royal St. George’s was in poll position to stage the championship after R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers acknowledged last year that the 2020 Open would be held in England.
The 2020 edition will be the 149th Open since its inauguration in 1860. It means the 150th Open will be held at the Home of Golf.
St. Andrews has held the Open Championship every five years since 1990. The R&A did break with that tradition to take the 150th Open to St. Andrews in 1921.
“We are very much looking forward to the return of The Open to Royal St. George’s in 2020,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said. “The Open is a true celebration of sport and the global spotlight will fall once again on Sandwich. Royal St. George’s has produced a series of outstanding champion golfers over the last 120 years, and it is a thrilling prospect for golf fans to see the greatest players competing on one of the world’s finest links courses.”
Royal St. George’s last held the Open Championship in 2011, when Darren Clarke lifted the old Claret Jug. Clarke, who overcame Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson to earn the title of ‘Champion Golfer of the Year,’ will be back in field as a past champion.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to lift the claret jug and know that my name was displayed on the trophy alongside so many of the greatest players ever to play the game,” Clarke said. “The Open is what it is all about for me as a golfer. It is the championship I always dreamt of winning from when I first took up the game as a kid. I have so many wonderful memories from that week at Sandwich, and I will be thrilled to go back there for The Open in three years’ time.”
J.H. Taylor won the first championship held at Royal St. George’s in 1894. Winners in between Taylor and Clarke include Harry Vardon (1899, 1911), Jack White (1904), Walter Hagen (1922, 1928), Henry Cotton (1934), Reg Whitcombe (1938), Bobby Locke (1949), Bill Rogers (1981), Sandy Lyle (1985), Greg Norman (1993) and Ben Curtis (2003).
In a separate announcement, the R&A revealed that double Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal is to be made an honorary member of the Royal & Ancient Golf club along with former Ladies Golf Union president Bridget Jackson.