In an outstanding development for golf in the region two events on the Asian Tour, the inaugural World City Championship Presented by Hong Kong Golf Club and the long-standing Kolon Korea Open, have both been included in The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) this year, following an announcement by The R&A this week.
The exciting new Hong Kong event, to be played at the Hong Kong Golf Club from March 23-26, will see the four leading players not otherwise exempt earn a place in The 151st Open – which will be held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, from July 20-23.
At Korea’s national Open, which will be staged at Woo Jeung Hills Country Club from June 22-25, two places will be up for grabs in the game’s eldest Major.
“This is great validation of the strength of the players who compete week in and week out on the Asian Tour,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour.
“Playing in Major championships is undoubtedly one of the goals that every player sets at the beginning of each season. Having the opportunity to qualify on two separate occasions on the Asian Tour gives our members a prime opportunity to achieve this.
“Sadom Kaewkanjana’s 11th place finish in The Open last year and the ascendancy of Tom Kim at that same event are prime examples of players taking advantage of The Open Qualifying Series in the Asian region.”
The news is a boon for the organisers of the World City Championship, an event being staged to celebrate the opening up of Hong Kong after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Hong Kong Golf Club is renowned by players and fans alike for its historic atmosphere, natural beauty, and challenging Composite Course, we welcome The R&A awarding of the World City Championship with The Open Qualifying Series status,” said Andy Kwok, Captain, the Hong Kong Golf Club.
“With four places at golf’s original Major on offer, Hong Kong galleries can look forward to another top-flight field assembling in Fanling.
“For our part, we look forward to once again hosting the top players in the game, visitors from around the world, and thousands of members of the Hong Kong public, as we open what promises to be a milestone season of international events at the Hong Kong Golf Club in 2023.”
In total 15 events in nine countries make up the OQS for 2023, which started at the Joburg Open and will be end at the Genisis Scottish Open.
A total of 34 places are available through the events being played on the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “We have created an exciting schedule of events which takes in many regions around the world and provides the chance for golfers to earn a place in The Open at Royal Liverpool. We are grateful to our colleagues at the professional Tours for their support and look forward to seeing who emerges from each event to book a sought-after place in the Championship this year.”