R&A Announce 2017 and 2018 Open Venues
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/1/14

Royal Birkdale will host The Open Championship for the tenth time in 2017.

The R&A have been one busy organization this week. First, they announced the U.S. qualifiers for the Open Championship from Tiger's tournament in Washington DC. They, they announced a special exemption into the 2015 Open for five-time champion Tom Watson.

And now, the R&A have announced that the 2017 Open Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale, while the 2018 Open will go to the notoriously difficult Carnoustie.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the R&A awarding the special exemption to Watson, who won the 1983 open at Birkdale and the 1975 Open at Carnoustie. Watson's comments about both venues aren't of earth-shaking import, but they come from a wealth of experience:
"I am delighted to see The Open returning to two great venues in Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie. I know both courses are held in high regard by the players and I certainly consider them to be wonderful tests of golf.

"When I first played in The Open at Carnoustie, I still had a lot to learn about links golf, but I quickly adapted to the challenge of playing in the wind and keeping the ball low. I played well that week and was thrilled to win the playoff.

"Royal Birkdale is also a fine links course and I have always thoroughly enjoyed playing there. I think the players and the fans will be excited to see the top players playing these courses once again."
Pádraig Harrington won both of the most recent opens at both courses; he was a popular winner in 2007 at Carnoustie, then backed it up with another victory the very next year at Birkdale. Harrington then scored the trifecta by winning the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in Michigan.

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Image via The R&A

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