The R&A has confirmed that the entry criteria for The Open Championship have been amended to accommodate the top 30 players from both the European and PGA Tour.
Exemptions were previously for those players making the top 20 of the previous season’s Money Lists.
The European Order of Merit comes to a close at next month’s Volvo Masters, and although some of those outside the top 30 can count on an invite – through world ranking or past Open Championship performances – others will want to wrap up qualification as early as possible.
Meanwhile, American duo Briny Baird and Ken Duke will be lining up at Turnberry next year after their top 30 finishes in the season-ending Playoffs – Baird making his debut, and Duke his first Open Championship appearance since 1997.
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “The R&A continues to monitor the ever changing golfing world and our Championship Committee aims to reflect this in the exemptions into The Open Championship.”
Other changes to the exemption categories include; IFQ – Europe will have a smaller field with 96 players playing for ten places in the Championship; the field for IFQ – America will be 78 with eight places available; IFQ Australasia and IFQ Africa will each have three places available.
The 138th Open Championship gets underway on the Turnberry Ailsa Course in Ayrshire on 16th July.