R&A’s Open concern over women

OPEN officials yesterday insisted it would be “a shame” if no women attempted to qualify for this year’s championship at Hoylake.

The Royal and Ancient Club, a male-only club which has run the championship at male-only courses since it began at Prestwick in 1860, agreed last year to allow women to play if they qualified.

However, so far no entries have been received for regional qualifying which takes place at courses around Britain on July 5.

And with the £1m HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship in America starting on July 6, it appears highly unlikely any women will even attempt to qualify.

Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, said: "We did not open it up to women hoping they would not enter, we did the reverse.

"Having done that it would be something of a shame if they did not take advantage of the opportunity."

The course will measure 7,258 yards but has been lengthened by just 263 yards since 1967.

A number of holes have been renumbered so that the present 17th will be the first, and the par-five 16th the new 18th.

The major changes are as follows:

Hole 1 454 yards (+33) New green moved away from road to relocate further back.

Hole 2 436 yards (+19) New back tee constructed after previous green relocated.

Hole 4 372 yards (-22) Green moved back and championship tee slightly shortened.

Hole 6 202 yards (+8) Tee adjusted for more challenging angle to green.

Hole 12 448 yards (+35) New championship tee.

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