For Immediate Publication WINNER OF THE OPEN DE ARGENTINA TO RECEIVE AN EXEMPTION INTO THE OPEN 18 May 2016, St Andrews, Scotland: The winner of the 111 Visa Open de Argentina presented by ODSE will receive an exemption into The Open, golf’s most international major championship.
The 2016 winner of Argentina’s national Open will become the first champion in the event’s history to receive the exemption, and will earn a place in The 146TH Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
First played in 1905, the tournament is part of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and counts a long list of notable winners including Roberto De Vicenzo. The Argentinian became the first South American to win a major championship when he lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 1967, the same year he won the Open de Argentina for the seventh time. Other winners of The Open that have also won in Argentina include Tom Weiskopf, Mark Calcavecchia and Mark O’Meara.
“The Open brings together the best players from around the world as they compete to become Champion Golfer of the Year, and we are delighted to offer this opportunity to the winner of the Open de Argentina,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A. “The new exemption will add another element of excitement to this historic tournament and we look forward to welcoming the 2016 champion to Royal Birkdale next year.”
Mark Lawrie, Director – Latin American and Caribbean at The R&A, said, "This new exemption into The Open underlines the commitment of The R&A to help develop the huge potential of our affiliates in this region and will create more opportunities for the professional game and greater exposure for our sport throughout this part of the world."
Miguel Leeson, President of the Argentina Golf Association (AAG) said, "We are absolutely thrilled with the recognition that our Open has received from The R&A. This means a great deal to the AAG, to Roberto De Vicenzo, 1967 Champion Golfer of the Year at Hoylake, and to all those players, spectators, administrators, staff and sponsors who throughout its rich history have contributed to making it the premier event in the region."
Jack Warfield, President of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica said, "The Argentina Golf Association is a valuable partner of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Visa Open de Argentina is one of our players’ favourites. The PGA TOUR’s mission in Latin America is to provide players a pathway to the higher levels of professional golf and this exemption will aid us in that mission by providing one of our players an opportunity to test their game at The Open.”
The 111 Visa Open de Argentina will be played from November 17-20, 2016 at Olivos Golf Club in Buenos Aires.
The Open is golf’s oldest championship. Played since 1860 on links golf courses, it is the sport’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 sport, worldwide.