British Open to Return to Turnberry in 2009


AYRSHIRE, Scotland -- The British Open will return to Turnberry in 2009, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced Thursday.
'I am thrilled for everyone on the Turnberry team who has worked on this,' said Turnberrys general manager Stewart Selbie. 'In my six years here, so many of the world's best golfers have told me that they enjoy coming to Turnberry as one of the best Open venues in the world.'
The 2009 British Open is scheduled for July 16-19. It will be the fourth time the British Open will be staged at the Westin Turnberry Resort, but it will be hard to top the first one.
In 1977, Tom Watson topped Jack Nicklaus in the 'Duel in the Sun,' considered one of golf's best battles in major championship history. Watson escaped with another victory at Turnberry in 2003 when he outlasted Carl Mason to win the Senior British Open, which returns to Turnberry next year.
Greg Norman earned his first major championship at the 1986 British Open at Turnberry. Norman's close friend Nick Price won the last Open Championship staged there in 1994, when he fought off Jesper Parnevik.
The reason Turnberry has not hosted a British Open in 11 years has more to do with off-the-course problems, namely traffic management, than Turnberry's links layout.
'There has never been any doubt that The Open would return to Turnberry, one of our very best links courses, but before reaching that decision we had to be convinced that every aspect of our forward planning process was in place to ensure a successful return to Turnberry in 2009,' said David Hill, Director of Championships for The R&A.