Tom Watson Given Open Championship Exemption
By Kickntrue on 11/16/09
The R&A made up a new exemption for the British Open that seems an awful lot like it was designed with someone in mind.
A new exemption category has been introduced for the 2010 Open. Condition F(4) exempts from qualifying any past Open Champions who finished in the top 10 and ties in any of the previous five Open Championships, thus effectively providing them with a five year exemption into the Championship.The R&A did at least acknowledge the change was made because of good play by older players in recent years (Tom Watson & Greg Norman). Don't misread this tone, I think it's humorous that they did this as a direct response, but I'm not against it. Clearly Watson deserves a chance to play in next year's Open and the rule is limiting enough that it's not going to add a lot of fat to the event. Still- kind of feel bad for the guy who has never won the thing, but has finished 2nd when he's 57, 58 and 59, and he won't be able to play when he's 60. Then again, life ain't fair.
photo source- Keith Allison
[ comments ]
typical CYA move. They would have been in the hurt locker had Tom not missed that put on 18. Old rule stated something about can play until as long as they have not reached their 60th birthday blah blah blah. Problem is, winners automatically get a 10 yr exempt. What a conundrum it would have been if Tom "terrific" would have sank it.
Good move by the R&A. Skilled golfers regardless of age should be allowed play. Association rules have to evolve with changing times, and finally a rule that made crap sense gets changed!
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