Date: November 29, 2013
Author: Martin Blake at Royal Sydney

Open Championship spots up for grabs

These are the medals that are a tasty side dish for the players at the Emirates Australian Open this week. For the first time ever, three places in the field for the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool are on offer, complete with players&apos medals that will be handed over at the presentation ceremony on Sunday. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has this year done away with the previous system of a 36-hole international qualifying tournament in Australia, instead offering up the positions for the highest finishers in the field this week. The same thing will be done at the Johannesburg Open in South Africa in February and at three American tournaments next year, as well as the Mizuno Open in Japan. Four players in the field — Adam Scott, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Kevin Streelman — are already exempt for the 2014 Open Championship. This means that through round one, the players in the qualifying positions were Canadian Ryan Yip, America&aposs John Young Kim and Australia&aposs David McKenzie. “I think the feedback we got was that a 36-hole event in one day, sandwiched between two events, was not ideal for the players,&apos&apos said the Open Championship tournament committee chairman, Peter Unsworth. “Tournament golf is over 72 holes, not 36. “We&aposre extremely pleased with how it&aposs gone so far. And if it helps the Australian Open we&aposd be delighted. We have a long association with it.&apos&apos