British Open receives new qualifying venues
St. Andrews, Scotland -- For the first time, golfers will not have to go to Britain to qualify for the British Open.
The international final qualifying rounds for next year's championship at Troon will take place in Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America and Europe, the Royal & Ancient Club of St. Andrews said.
The new system does not affect this year's Open at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England.
"We wanted to make it easier for world-ranked players who might not otherwise be exempt to attempt to qualify in the continent where they play most of their competitive golf," R&A secretary Peter Dawson said.
Each international qualifying round will have a maximum of 120 players. Players unable to get a place can transfer straight to the local qualifying rounds.
Congressional Country Club in Maryland will be one of the sites for 36-hole international qualifying rounds for Troon next year.
Women ruled out for British Open
Sandwich, England -- The British Open will remain an all-male tournament, regardless of what Annika Sorenstam does.
"Never is a long time, but at the moment the championship is for male golfers and for the foreseeable future it will stay that way," Royal & Ancient secretary Peter Dawson said Tuesday.
Sorenstam joins the men for the Colonial Open next month in Texas, becoming the first woman in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945.
Dawson believes it appropriate that men and women don't play together at the British Open.
"There is a marked difference between the abilities and I think it's right that they should be segregated and that there's a Women's (British) Open and the (British) Open," he said.
This year's British Open will be at Royal St. George's July 17-20.