Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Ladies at R @ A

the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

25 July 2014, St Andrews, Scotland: A postal ballot among members of the Club on a motion to admit women as members will be conducted prior to the announcement of the result on 18 September 2014. This replaces the vote that was previously scheduled to take place at the Club’s Business Meeting on that day. By taking this decision all members can take part in this historic vote.
Ends.



The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews holds a unique position in golf. Established in 1754, it evolved through two and a half centuries as a leading authority in the world game.
As the Club celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2004 it devolved responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf, the running of The Open Championship and other key events, and the development of the game in existing and emerging golfing nations, to a newly formed group of companies collectively known as The R&A.  
As a separate entity The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews remains as a private golf club with a world-wide membership of 2,400.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

TOM WATSON TO MAKE 40TH ANIVERSARY APPEARANCE IN THE OPEN AT ST ANDREWS IN 2015



TOM WATSON TO MAKE 40TH ANIVERSARY APPEARANCE IN THE OPEN AT ST ANDREWS IN 2015

1 July 2014, Greenbrier, West Virginia: The R&A announced today that the exemption of five-time Open Champion Tom Watson will be extended to enable him to make his 40th anniversary appearance in the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews.
The 64-year-old, who came so close to winning the 2009 Open at Turnberry, will play once again at the home of golf next year and make a remarkable 37th appearance in golf’s oldest and most international Major Championship.
The R&A presented Watson with a special commemorative solid silver Players’ Badge to recognise his 40 years in The Open Championship.
A true legend of the game, Watson is one of a select group of players to win The Open on five occasions along with James Braid, JH Taylor and Peter Thomson. Only Harry Vardon has won more Championships with six victories.
In his first appearance in The Open at Carnoustie in 1975 Watson defeated Jack Newton by one shot after an 18-hole play-off. Two years later at Turnberry he won again by one shot after a memorable battle with Jack Nicklaus in what became known as the “Duel in the Sun”.
At Muirfield in 1980, Watson won by four shots from his countryman Lee Trevino. At Royal Troon in 1982 he won by one shot from Peter Oosterhuis and Nick Price and at Royal Birkdale the following year he successfully defended his trophy edging out Andy Bean and Hale Irwin by a single shot.
In 1984, he finished tied second at St Andrews after Seve Ballesteros clinched the Championship with a dramatic birdie putt on the 18th green. At the same venue in 2005, Watson was paired with his great friend and golfing rival Nicklaus as he played his last round of professional golf and joined him as he waved an emotional goodbye from the famous Swilcan Bridge.
Five years ago Watson led the Championship going down the 18th hole at Turnberry and, at the age of 59, would have become its oldest Champion, but a bogey meant he finished tied with fellow American Stewart Cink who went on to defeat him in a four-hole play-off.
Watson, who has also won the Masters on two occasions and the US Open 1982 in a hugely successful career, spoke of his delight at having the opportunity to play at St Andrews next year.
“Some of my finest memories in golf have come from playing in The Open Championship,” he said. “I am very proud and honoured to be given this opportunity to play once again in St Andrews next year. It is a special place for everyone in golf and I am very much looking forward to playing there again in front of the wonderful Scottish galleries.
“The Open Championship is unlike any other event in golf and to be part of its history is a privilege.”
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “Tom is the most successful Open Champion still playing today and has made a huge contribution to the Championship over the last 40 years. His performances in winning The Open on five occasions were truly outstanding and to come so close to winning a sixth Championship in 2009 demonstrates his longevity in the sport. We are delighted that he will he will be able to play in The Open next year and I’m sure golf fans everywhere will look forward to seeing him play again at St Andrews.”
Watson will be fully exempt into the 144th Open Championship under exemption category F3 as a Past Champion finishing in the top ten of The Open between 2009 and 2014.


The Open Championship:
The 143rd Open Championship will be played at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from 17-20 July, 2014.
The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.
Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.

Monday, 16 June 2014

ROYAL PORTRUSH INVITED TO HOST THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

ROYAL PORTRUSH INVITED TO HOST THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Open will generate an estimated £70 million for the Northern Ireland economy
16 June 2014, Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland: The Open Championship is set to return to Northern Ireland for the first time in over 60 years and only the second time in its more than 150-year history.
Royal Portrush has been invited to stage The Open by The R&A and the County Antrim club’s members will now be asked to ratify the proposal to enable preparations to begin for what is expected to be the largest sporting event ever to be held in Northern Ireland.
First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D Robinson MLA, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster joined Simon Rankin, Captain of Royal Portrush Golf Club, Peter Unsworth, Chairman of The R&A’s Championship Committee, and Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, in making the announcement at Royal Portrush today.
The Open is golf’s oldest and most international Major Championship. It has a broadcast reach of over 500 million households around the world and a record 4,468 hours of television coverage of The Open Championship at Muirfield was monitored in 2013.  Based on independent research The Championship is likely to deliver a combined economic impact and destination marketing benefit of £70 million for Northern Ireland.
The First Minister Peter Robinson said, “This is wonderful news, not only for Royal Portrush Golf Club, but for the whole of Northern Ireland. The decision to bring The Open back to Northern Ireland is a tremendous vote of confidence in the game here and follows the huge success of the Irish Open in 2012, the first in European Tour history to sell out. The R&A’s decision to invite Portrush to join The Open rota is a ringing endorsement of Northern Ireland and I know we will deliver an event that we can all be proud of.”
The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said, “I welcome the official confirmation today by The R&A that The Open will return to Royal Portrush. This announcement will create much anticipation and excitement as the thought of our local golfers challenging for the Claret Jug on home soil is set to become a reality. Hosting The Open will leave a lasting imprint on Royal Portrush and I wish everyone involved in the planning and preparation every success and assure them of the full support of the Executive.”
The Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster added, “The Open’s arrival on the north coast will tell the world what we already know – that not only is Northern Ireland home to three Major winning golfers, it is home to some of the best courses on the planet. We will pull out all the stops to ensure that – just as we did with the Irish Open - Northern Ireland will stage a world class event that will be long remembered by players and spectators alike.”
The Open was held at Royal Portrush in 1951, when Englishman Max Faulkner lifted the famous Claret Jug after a two-shot victory over Argentina’s Antonio Cerda, on the only occasion it has been played outwith Scotland and England.
Royal Portrush successfully staged the Irish Open in 2012, with more than 130,000 people attending throughout the week, and it has held the Senior Open Championship on six occasions. The Amateur Championship is being played at the Dunluce links for the third time this week.
Peter Unsworth, the Chairman of The R&A’s Championship Committee, said, “Royal Portrush is one of the great links courses and we could not be more excited at bringing The Open back to Northern Ireland. We welcome the support of the Northern Ireland Executive and the various agencies involved who will play a key role in the Championship. There is huge enthusiasm for golf in Northern Ireland and throughout Ireland and we expect fantastic support for The Open when it returns.”
Simon Rankin, Captain of Royal Portrush Golf Club added, “I am sure our members will be delighted to see The Open being played here once again. It will be of great benefit to the club and Northern Ireland as a whole to have the game’s greatest Championship played here. This is a great day in the celebrated history of Irish golf.”


The Open Championship
The 143rd Open Championship will be played at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from 17-20 July, 2014.
The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.
Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.
:


Caption: (Left to right) Simon Rankin, Captain Royal Portrush; Peter Unsworth, Chairman of The R&A Championship Committee; Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA; First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D Robinson MLA; Peter Dawson, Chief Executive The R&A; Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Malaysian Golfers Get Exemption Incentive ASIA ONE

PGM is seeking more players- now-Malaysian Golfers Get Exemption Incentive

Nicholas Fung
Nicholas Fung ... top ranked Malaysian
HONG KONG,
 -  Malaysia's domestic golf tour has introduced exemption categories for any citizen who wins on OneAsia or the ASEAN PGA Tour in a bid to strengthen their fledgling circuit.

The Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour will give Malaysian winners of OneAsia events a four-year exemption, while Malaysian winners of ASEAN PGA Tour events get a three-year exemption.

“The objective of this exempt system is to enable PGM Tour cardholders a longer time for tournament preparation and appearance,"  said YABhg Tun Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid, Chairman, Professional Golf of Malaysia

"It is also hoped that with this system, golfers will be able to secure their sponsorships for a longer period in the interest of the sponsors.

“To date, the pool of available Malaysian golfers to participate in a PGM Tour tournament is between 70-80 golfers.  Compared with some of our neighbouring countries, this number is rather small and needs to be increased by introducing new measures, without sacrificing current standards.

This season the PGM Tour and ASEAN PGA Tour are joint sanctioning the PGM-ASEAN PGA Penang Classic, the  PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters and the PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters.

Nicholas Fung is the top ranked Malaysian player on OneAsia with a best finish of joint 14th at the 2010 Midea China Classic.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

IWATA LEADS AFTER ROUND ONE OF OPEN QUALIFYING EVENT IN THAILAND

IWATA LEADS AFTER ROUND ONE OF OPEN QUALIFYING EVENT IN THAILAND
6 March 2014, Chonburi, Thailand: Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata is one step closer to making his return to The Open Championship after a four-under-par 68 saw him take the first round lead at The Open Qualifying Series – Thailand event.  
The two-day 36-hole qualifier at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi has brought together an international field of 75 players from 17 countries who are vying for one of four places at The Open which will be held at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from 17-20 July.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Singapore’s Koh Dengshan are also in position to qualify for The Open after posting three-under-par 69s to share second place with Spain’s Carlos Pigem and Japan’s Akinori Tani.
Iwata made his Major Championship debut at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and is looking to return to The Open to take on the world’s best players after a six-year absence.
“It’s every professional’s dream to play at The Open and I’m no different. I missed the cut when I played in The Open Championship in 2008. Hopefully I can make my return again this year and do better,” he said.
Iwata delivered a blemish-free round on Thursday amidst blustery conditions, carding four birdies on the 7th, 11th, 13th and 15th holes.
“It was such a great round of golf today. Everything worked to my advantage and I’m proud to be able to lead under such windy conditions,” said the 33-year-old.
Koh also had a day to remember by signing for a 69 in his first outing at Amata Spring. The Singaporean is drawing inspiration from fellow countrymen Mardan Mamat and Chih-Bing Lam to keep his Open hopes alive.
“It would be a dream come true if I can get to play in a Major in this lifetime. I draw a lot of inspiration knowing that Mardan and Chih Bing have both played in The Open Championship and it would be something I will really cherish if I get a chance to do so,” said Koh.
Mamat holed his tee shot at the par three 210-yard 13th hole using a five iron. The Asian Tour veteran has played in The Open Championship on three occasions and sits tied for 15th heading into Friday’s final round.
Home hope Meesawat carded four birdies against a single bogey to stay on course for his second Open appearance. The Hua Hin, Thailand native won the International Final Qualifying event at Amata Spring in 2011 to play in The Open at Royal St George’s.
“I think that the Thai players here this week will have an advantage since we are familiar with the course and the weather this week at Amata Spring. This qualifier creates a wonderful opportunity for Thai players that have the dream to play with world class golfers and represent Thailand at The Open,” said Meesawat.
Two former runners-up in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship are in the field this week: Taiwan’s Cheng-Tsung Pan and Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa. Pan finished runner-up at the 2012 championship at Amata Spring and his familiarity with the course helped him to a two-under-par 70 on Thursday, just two strokes off the lead. Hasegawa struggled with his putter to post a seven-over-par 79.
The four players that qualify for The Open this week will join Australians John Senden, Rhein Gibson and Bryden Macpherson who qualified at the Emirates Australian Open in November 2013. George Coetzee and Justin Walters of South Africa and Jin Jeong of South Korea secured the three places on offer at The Joburg Open in South Africa in February. 
For the second round draw and full hole-by-hole scores visit TheOpen.com.
Scores after Round 1 (A- denotes amateur):
68 (-4) - Hiroshi Iwata (JPN)
69 (-3) - Prom Meesawat (THA); Akinori Tani (JPN); Carlos Pigem (ESP); Dengshan Koh (SIN)
70 (-2) - Cheng-Tsung Pan (A) (TPE); Michael Tran (VNM); Arnond Vongvanij (THA); Adam Groom (AUS); Berry Henson (USA); Sung Man Lee (KOR); Daisuke Kataoka (JPN); David Lipsky (USA); Yusaku Miyazato (JPN)
71 (-1) - Aaron Townsend (AUS); Mardan Mamat (SIN); Jazz Janewattananond (THA); Anthony Kang (USA); Seukhyun Baek (KOR); Unho Park (AUS); Rahil Gangjee (IND)
72 (Par) - Masahiro Kawamura (JPN); Ashun Wu (CHN); Wade Ormsby (AUS); Prayad Marksaeng (THA); James Bowen (USA); Yoshinobu Tsukada (JPN)
73 (+1) - Masaru Takahashi (JPN); Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA); Lionel Weber (FRA); Samuel Cyr (USA); Azuma Yano (JPN); Chiragh Kumar (IND); Jack Munro (AUS)
74 (+2) - Satoshi Kodaira (JPN); Javier Colomo (ESP); Wenchong Liang (CHN); Terry Pilkadaris (AUS); Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA)
75 (+3) - Marcus Both (AUS); Sung-Yeol Kwon (KOR); Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA); Mu Hu (CHN); Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA); George Gandranata (INA); Park Ju Hyuk (KOR); Namchok Tantipokhakul (THA); Sushi Ishigaki (JPN); David Lutterus (AUS); Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JPN)
76 (+4) - Grant Jackson (ENG); Scott Barr (AUS); Suttijet Kooratanapisan (THA); Malcolm Kokocinski (SWE); Carl Santos-Ocampo (PHI); Nathan Holman (AUS); Chan Kim (USA)
77 (+5) - Rory Hie (INA); Bio Kim (KOR); Kieran Pratt (AUS); Giwhan Kim (KOR); Chih-Bing Lam (SIN)
78 (+6) - SSP Chowrasia (IND); Tae Hoon Kim (KOR); Mohammad Siddikur Rahman (BAN); Quincy Quek (SIN)
79 (+7) - Mitsuhiko Hashizume (JPN); Himmat Rai (IND); Yuki Kono (JPN); Shohei Hasegawa (A) (JPN)
80 (+8) - Kodai Ichihara (JPN)

Open for betterment of Golf world over





MARKSAENG AND LAHIRI BID TO QUALIFY FOR THE OPEN IN THAILAND
4 March 2014, Chonburi, Thailand: Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng will lead the home players seeking to qualify for The Open Championship in this week’s Open Qualifying Series event at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi.
Marksaeng and India’s Anirban Lahiri head an international field of 76 golfers who will play in the 36-hole qualifying event on Thursday, 6 March and Friday, 7 March with four places in The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from 17-20 July, 2014 at stake.
The event is the third stop in the Open Qualifying Series and will give players from across the region the chance to play in golf’s oldest Major Championship. Competitors from 18 countries will be bidding to secure their place at The Open, including ten players from Thailand.
Marksaeng, an eight-time winner on the Asian Tour, is looking to make his sixth appearance at The Open in 2014. The reigning Thailand Open champion is one of the country’s most successful golfers but has yet to make the cut at The Open Championship.
His last Open appearance was at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012, and the Hua Hin native earned a place in the field after finishing second at the 2012 International Final Qualifying event at Amata Spring.
“I have been proud to play in The Open Championship in the past and I’m hoping I can repeat the success I had in qualifying at Amata Spring in 2012. The new Open Qualifying Series is a great opportunity for players from Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region to earn a place in the field at Royal Liverpool. I’m sure everyone will be competing hard for those four places,” said Marksaeng.
Another player expected to be a contender is India’s Anirban Lahiri, who made his Major Championship debut at The 2012 Open. It was a memorable outing, with Lahiri making a hole-in-one in the third round before finishing tied for 31st.
“Playing in The Open at Royal Lytham was one of the highlights of my career so far and I really enjoyed the challenge of links golf. The hole-in-one on the 9th hole capped it all as my dad was there to watch me. He was jumping up and down with excitement and that memory will stay with me forever. I would very much like to qualify once again and play at Royal Liverpool in July,” said Lahiri, who is a three-time winner on the Asian Tour and India’s highest-ranked professional golfer.
Liang Wen-Chong will look to make his return to The Open after becoming the first Chinese player to make the cut at a Major Championship when he finished tied for 64th at the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale. Liang, who is a Working for Golf Ambassador for The R&A, has notched 19 career tournament wins.
Among the other players in the field with experience of The Open are Mardan Mamat, who has made three appearances in the Championship and was the first Singaporean to play at The Open in 1997, and China’s Ashun Wu, who made his Major Championship debut at Muirfield in 2013.
Established in 2005, Amata Spring Country Club is one of Thailand’s most prestigious golf facilities and has hosted numerous international tournaments including the 2013 Thailand Open in December that was won by Sergio Garcia. The par-3 17th is the Club’s signature hole, featuring the only floating green in Asia.
The four players that qualify for The Open this week will join Australians John Senden, Rhein Gibson and Bryden Macpherson who qualified at the Emirates Australian Open in November 2013. George Coetzee and Justin Walters of South Africa and Jin Jeong of South Korea secured the three places on offer at The Joburg Open in South Africa in February. 
Competitors will play a total of 36 holes on March 6 and 7 with the top four finishers earning places in the field at The 143rd Open Championship.
For more information, visit TheOpen.com
Ends.
Notes to editors:
The Open Qualifying Series replaces International Final Qualifying (IFQ) for The Open Championship which was introduced in 2004 and involved 36-hole qualifying events in Africa, Australasia, Asia, America, and Europe.  Amata Spring Country Club hosted the Asia events in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) will offer the following qualification places in The Open Championship:
Open Qualifying SeriesEventNo of placesDetail
OQS-AustraliaThe Emirates Australian Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-South AfricaThe Joburg Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
 
OQS-ThailandThe Open Qualifying Series - Thailand4four places to the leading four players
OQS-JapanThe Mizuno Open4four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
OQS-IrelandThe Irish Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
 
OQS-FranceAlstom Open de France3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-ScotlandAberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open3three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties
OQS-USAAT&T National4four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
OQS-USAThe Greenbrier Classic4four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties
OQS-USAJohn Deere Classic1*one place to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties
OQS-Final QualifyingGailes Links
Hillside
Royal Cinque Ports
Woburn
12Three places available at each event
*There is one place in the John Deere Classic due to the logistics of qualifiers travelling to play in The Open at short notice.
NB: Any player who has qualified through The Open Qualifying Series is deemed an exempt player. In the event that that player subsequently fulfils other exemption categories those places in the starting field will be subject to Section G of The Open Championship Entry Form (i.e. these places will be made available to the highest ranked players on OWGR after the close of entries).
Final Qualifying:
Final Qualifying for The Open Championship has also changed in 2014. Final Qualifying will continue to offer three places at each of four events in the UK, but for the first time will be played at four venues covering Scotland and the North-west, Central and South-coast regions of England. Taking place at Gailes Links in Ayrshire, Hillside Golf Club in Southport, Woburn Golf Club near Milton Keynes and Royal Cinque Ports in Kent, these events will provide a more accessible route into The Open for competitors qualifying from the 13 Regional Qualifying events around the country.
The Open Championship:
The 143rd Open Championship will be played at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from 17-20 July, 2014.
The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on British links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.
Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.