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Open Championship set for first-ever ticket ballot ahead of St Andrews return

The Open Championship is to hold a Wimbledon-style ballot for the first time ahead of next year’s milestone 150th staging of the golf tournament at St Andrews.

Citing concerns over fairness and the expectation of high levels of global demand, the R&A, which organises the Open, said the ballot would ensure golf fans from around the world have the chance to attend the 2022 championship.

The ticket ballot is to run from July 2021 to October 4, and will be available exclusively to members of The One Club, the free-to-join membership programme. Fans can sign up to the One Club any time and will be among the first to be notified when the ballot is open.

The R&A said allocations will be balanced to ensure fans are drawn from all over the world, as well as throughout the UK and the local area.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “This is a momentous occasion for golf as well as the Open and one which sports fans everywhere are looking forward to enormously. The 150th Open will give fans the opportunity to be part of a unique and unparalleled celebration at the birthplace of the game in St Andrews.

“We expect exceptional demand to be part of these celebrations and the ballot will give as many fans as possible the chance to secure a ticket and be part of history being made at one of the world’s most revered and renowned sporting events.”

Ticket prices for the 150th Open will be £95 for an adult on championship days and will range from £20 to £50 on practice days. Free tickets will be available to children through the long-standing ‘Kids go Free’ programme, while half-price youth tickets are available for 16-24 year-olds.

Organisers said that weekly tickets are being discontinued in order to give as many people as possible the chance to attend the championship.

Origins Hospitality, a range of fully inclusive experiences, is available to purchase now and is the only way fans can guarantee their place at the Championship. Hospitality for the event has been on sale since last year, with 85 per cent of packages already sold.

The 2020 Open will be held at Royal St George’s in England this July with organisers hoping for “a significant number of fans… as part of a reduced capacity model.” Numbers will be confirmed in the coming weeks with the UK authorities still to announce whether social distancing measures will be lifted as previously expected from June 21.

Royal St George’s was due to stage the Open in 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.