Open handed to Royal St George's

The R&A has announced that the 2020 Open Championship will be played at Royal St George's, the scene of Darren Clarke's memorable victory in 2011.

Last time The Open was hosted in Kent in July 2011, 180,000 tickets were bought for the four day tournament and the economy was boosted by £77million.

The course south of Edinburgh is not due back on the rota until 2022 at the earliest, 10 years after Phil Mickelson won his first Open Championship there.

In the meantime Slumbers indicated that Muirfield, taken off the Open rota past year after host the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers voted against women members, will likely go straight back on to the rota if a second vote falls in favour of admitting women in the next month.

While still to be confirmed, it means the event's 150th anniversary in 2021 will nearly certainly be staged at St Andrews, meaning that 2022 is the earliest available opportunity for Turnberry to welcome it back for the first time since 2009.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: 'We are very much looking forward to the return of The Open to Royal St George's in 2020.

The Old Course typically hosts the Open every five years.

Muirfield members narrowly voted to keep women out of the club last May and Muirfield was immediately removed from the R&A's list of Open Championship venues. "I think Muirfield is a wonderful golf course". It's very important that we work with the president if Turnberry did come back on. The Sandwich club first hosted The Open in 1894 and it was the first occasion on which the championship was played outside of Scotland.

  • Julie Sanders