St Andrews has been chosen to host the 150th Open Championship on the Old Course in 2021 with the home of golf staging the anniversary event between July 11-18.
The Old Course has held more Open Championships than any other venue and—as part of the rotation policy operated by the R&A—traditionally staged the major every five years. The most recent was in 2015 when Zach Johnson won the title in a four-hole play-off with Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen.
The five-year policy would normally have seen St Andrews stage the Open in 2020, but it will actually be a year later as the Old Course has been given the honour of hosting the 150th Open Championship. It will be a special occasion for St Andrews itself too, as it will be the 30th time the home of golf has staged the Open.
“The Open holds a very special place in the hearts of golf and sports fans around the world,” R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement announcing the decision. “The Championship enjoys a historic and celebrated relationship with the Old Course in St Andrews and we are excited to be marking the occasion of the 150th Championship at the home of golf in 2021.”
The home of golf
Euan Loudon, Chief Executive of the St Andrews Links Trust, added: “It is always special when The Open returns to the Old Course and I am sure that excitement, both here in St Andrews and around the world, will build in anticipation of this special occasion. Almost every great champion in the game has played on our famous Links and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of golfing greats for The 150th Open.”
The Old Course has been synonymous with The Open since staging the event for the first time in 1873 and becoming only the second venue to host the event after Prestwick. That year, the 13th Open Championship was won by Tom Kidd and he has since been joined on the role of honour by some of golf’s biggest names who triumphed when the major was staged on the historic links of the Old Course.
Bob Martin (twice), Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Jack Burns, Hugh Kirkaldy, JH Taylor and James Braid (twice) were among the early champions of the Open when it was staged on the Old Course. Jock Hutchinson made history when he became the first American winner of the Open Championship at St Andrews in 1921.
Bobby Jones, Denny Shute, Dick Burton, Sam Snead, Peter Thomson, Bobby Locke, Kel Nagle and Tony Lema all won the Open at St Andrews, as did John Daly and Oosthuizen more recently.
The greatest champions of the game have also lifted the Claret Jug on the famous 18th green of the Old Course. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods (both twice) are the two most successful major winners in the history of golf; Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo were also victorious at St Andrews. Whoever wins the 150th Open Championship in 2021 will be joining an elite and illustrious band of champions.