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The R&A has announced that the 2026 Open Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale.

The iconic Southport links has previously hosted golf’s original championship on ten occasions, the last of which was in 2017 when Jordan Spieth emerged victorious in a memorable final round duel with Matt Kuchar to lift the Claret Jug for the first time.

The American joined a celebrated roll of champion golfers at Royal Birkdale, including Peter Thomson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara and Padraig Harrington.

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Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said, “Royal Birkdale is a world class championship venue and its outstanding links will once again provide the world’s best men’s professional golfers with a tough but fair test of their talents and capabilities as they compete for the Claret Jug.

“It has produced many memorable moments that are woven into the story of this historic Championship, including a dramatic final round in 2017 when Jordan Spieth won for the first time.

“We look forward to another special occasion in three years and it will be fascinating to see which player will emerge to join a list of renowned Champion Golfers to have won at Royal Birkdale.”

Andrew Maxwell, captain of Royal Birkdale and Chairman of the Championship Committee, added: “We are thrilled and honoured to have been chosen as the host venue for The Open in 2026. Royal Birkdale Golf Club has a rich history with The Open having hosted it ten times previously.

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“We look forward to welcoming the world’s best golfers to our magnificent course and providing them with a true test of links golf. The Club is already working hard to ensure that The Open in 2026 will be an unforgettable event for players, spectators and fans around the globe.”

The news comes ahead of next week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, with the 2024 and 2025 editions set for Royal Troon and Royal Portrush respectively.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael has also authored three books. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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