British Open Qualifying in New Jersey


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- The dates and locations for the International Final Qualifying for the 2005 British Open were set on Thursday.
The first of these qualifiers will take place January 13-14 in Cape Town, South Africa, with the next coming in Melbourne, Australia, January 25-26. The Asia qualifier will take place April 6-7 in Kuala Lumpur.
The final two qualifiers will be contested on June 27th. The European one will take place at Sunningdale in Berkshire, England. The American qualifier will be played at Canoe Brook in Summit, N. J.
'We were pleased with the response of world ranked players to our introduction of International Final Qualifying (IFQ) and are proceeding along similar lines for 2005,' said Mike Tate, Director of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club on St. Andrews. 'The IFQ has definitely made it easier for players to attempt to qualify on the continent where they play most of their competitive golf and our decision to make IFQ a permanent feature has been endorsed by tour around the world.
'Each IFQ competition will have a maximum field of 120 players and it is our aim to have the number of players completing 36 holes at each venue.'
The American qualifier shifted from Congressional to Canoe Brook to make it easier for PGA Tour players to make the qualifier. Last year at Congressional, almost one-half of the 120 players failed to make the first tee for the qualifier.
The week prior to the qualifier the PGA will be in Harrison, N. Y., for the Buick Classic. The qualifier for the 2006 Open Championship will return to Congressional as the PGA will be near Washington, D.C. the week prior.
There are also local qualifiers throughout the world in which players can try to gain entry into the Open Championship.
Todd Hamilton will defend his British Open title at St. Andrews in 2005.