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One of the great things about The Open Championship is that, by definition, anyone has the chance to take part.

The Open’s qualification process was first introduced in 1907 and has remained a strong pillar of the identity of golf’s oldest major ever since.

A total field of 159 players will tee it up at The Open, which is being held at Royal Liverpool in 2023.

The majority of world class performers gain entry to the major through exemptions or their world ranking status, but there are opportunities for players who are not regularly on the world stage to claim their spot in the field.

Regional and Final Qualifying for The Open takes place in the weeks leading up to the final men’s major of the year.

Who can compete in Regional Open Qualifying?

Any amateur or professional golfer in the UK with a scratch handicap or better can enter Regional Qualifying.

Those with a handicap of 0.4 or lower can submit their entry for a fee of £150.

How does Regional Open Qualifying work?

Almost 2,000 players took part in Regional Qualifying, held on June 26, 2023 and played on 15 top golf courses across Great Britain and Ireland.

The venues for 2023 Regional Qualifying included Alwoodley, Burhill, Caldy, County Louth, Ferndown, Goswick, Hesketh, Kedleston Park, Kilmarnock (Barassie), Lindrick, Minchinhampton (Composite), Moor Park (High), Northamptonshire County, North Hants, and Rochester & Cobham Park.

This year, 117 golfers made it through Regional Qualifying and they will now head to Final Qualifying, to join other players who were able to bypass the first stage of qualifying.

How does Final Open Qualifying work?

Final Qualifying is where dreams are both realised and shattered. The 117 players who made it through the Regional Qualifying stage at the end of June compete across four venues with the chance to tee it up in The Open.

The four golf courses that stage Final Qualifying on July 4, 2023 are Burnham & Berrow, Dundonald Links, Royal Cinque Ports and West Lancashire.

In total, 19 spots are up for grabs, with the four lowest scorers across 36 holes on the same day in each each venue sealing their spot in The Open.

Originally, that number was 16, but the R&A confirmed three extra spots would be available, with an additional place allocated to three of there four venues.

This will be based on a strength of field calculation carried out when all competing golfers have started the first round and the actual strength of field is known.

Halfway Report

Dundonald Links

Few players have made it into the red figures for the opening round at the Ayrshire venue on a typically ‘Scottish’ day. Clearly that has suited the home players, too, as four Scots sit inside the top five.

Highest-ranked player in the field Aaron Rai carded a steady two-over-par, so will have to find something in his second round. Club pro Michael Block has had a morning to forget, sitting at five-over-par, while Jason Kokrak needs more than a miracle at +8.

Royal Cinque Ports

Similar conditions are in play in Kent, and LIV golfer Branden Grace has the clubhouse lead at two-under-par. The South-African has fellow LIV player David Puig just one shot behind.

The amateurs are holding there own in a solid field, though, claiming several of the top spots, including Scotland’s Oliver Mukherjee, Swede Albert Hansson, and Englishman Mason Essam.

Royal Porthcawl

Tee off times are slightly later in Wales, and LIV pair Anirban Lahiri and Laurie Canter have got off to positive starts. Englishman Brandon Robinson Thompson has set the early pace at five-under-par, three shots to the good.

Of the earlier starters, Jazz Janewattananond is in the clubhouse on level par, while Matthew Southgate is a shot behind.

West Lancashire

The crowds have been out in force following star attraction Sergio Garcia, and they’ve been rewarded for their loyalty. The Spaniard signed for a five-under-par 67, two strokes behind runaway leader Matthew Jordan, a member at Royal Liverpool!

PGA Tour winner Matt Wallace has enjoyed his first round to fall inside the top five, while Matt Fitzpatrick’s brother, Alex, shot a two-under-par 70. US Open champion Graeme McDowell is poised to claim one of five spots after a level par round.

Final Report

Dundonald Links

It was a dramatic day in Ayrshire that required a playoff to decide the final qualifier. All you need to know, here.

West Lancashire

Sergio Garcia was the big scalp down south, as the Spaniard missed out for the first time since 1997. We have all the details, here.

All Regional Open 2023 qualifiers

Alwoodley: David Hague, Rob Booth, Richard Law, Connor McKinney, Nick McCarthy, Luke Northwood, Brett Taylor, Luke Hutchinson.

Burhill: Julius Kreutzer, Max Brackley, Nick Lloyd, Wouter De Vries, Alvaro Roldos (a), Craig Farrelly, Nico Els, Dongwon Kim.

Caldy: Ben Chamberlain, Jack Brooks (a), Mark Kimpton (a), Joseph Pagdin (a), Denny Belch (a), Fraser MacLeod (a), Jacob Oakley, George Holland (a).

County Louth: Kevin Le Blanc (a), Brendan McCarroll, Stuart Grehan, Gerard Dunne (a), Brian McCormack, Daniel Mulligan, Jake Hapgood.

Ferndown: Bradley Cox, Ryan Pope, Billy McKenzie, Sam Whitehead, Ben Evans, Daley Loumanis (a), Trystan Perkins, Aaron Van Hauwe (a).

Goswick: Michael Henson (a), David Clark, Cameron Adam (a), Paul Reilly, Jordan Clements, Jack McDonald (a), Ryan Riley (a), Morgan Blythe (a).

Hesketh: Jack McPhail (a), John-Ross Galbraith, Maximilian Röhrig, Phoenix Campbell (a), Paul Kinner, Luke Quint (a), Nick Marsh, Stephen Croman.

Kedleston Park: George Bloor, Alexander Ford (a), Ben Loveard (a), Jake Plumb (a), Thomas Beasley, Connor Worsdall, Seb Cave (a), Rory McDonald-O’Brien (a).

Kilmarnock (Barassie): Jack McDonald, Joachim Altonen, Scott Kerr, Greg Dalziel, Bradley Neil, Jack Doherty, Darren Howie.

Lindrick: Oliver White, Monty Scowsill, Ilari Saulo, Thomas Warnock, Nick Raybould, Sam Stokes (a), Joe Dean.

Minchinhampton: Joe Retford, James Frazer, Harry Boyle, Calum Fitzgerald (a), Toby Hunt, Mike Downey (a), Jake Burnage, Sam Edwards.

Moor Park: George Castle (a), Mark Talbott, Luke Goddard, Adam Batty, Jon Hopkins (a), Max Shirvell (a), Dylan Hussey (a), Erik Flores.

North Hants: David Puig, Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen, Angus Flanagan, Luke Stock (a), Kevin O’Connell, James Anstiss, Jamie Debrou, David Rudd.

Northamptonshire County: Ryan Evans, Arjun Sharma, Jack Peters (a), Gunner Wiebe, Robin Williams, Aidan Abbott (a), James Biggs, Jevann Parmar.

Rochester & Cobham Park: Davide Buchi, Mason Essam (a), Joshua Bristow, Jordan Godwin, Michael Farrier-Twist, Daniel Smith, Jack Colegate, James Whyte (a).

All Final Open 2023 qualifiers

Dundonald Links: Michael Stewart, Marco Penge, Connor McKinney, Graeme Robertson

Royal Cinque Ports: Martin Rohwer, Thomas Detry, Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel, Antoine Rozner

Royal Porthcawl: Laurie Canter, Brandon Robinson Thompson, Matthew Southgate, Jazz Janewattananond, Oliver Farr

West Lancashire: Matt Wallace, Matthew Jordan, Kyle Barker, Alex Fitzpatrick, Tiger Christensen

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