The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) has organised a live esports exhibition match between leading UK golfers Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell to stir additional interest in its ‘e-Open’ tournament.
England’s Rose will face Ryder Cup teammate McDowell, from Northern Ireland, on Wednesday evening in a match to be played over the back nine holes of Royal St George’s Golf Club and broadcast live on The Open’s official YouTube channel.
BBC Sport commentator Andrew Cotter will describe the action from the iconic Kent links course as the two major champions go head-to-head.
Qualifying for the e-Open began on July 13, just days before the 149th Open tournament had been due to take place at Royal St George’s. The golf major was cancelled for the first time since the Second World War and Royal St George’s will now stage the 2021 championships instead.
Global payments firm Mastercard, the Official Patron of The Open, is the presenting partner of the e-Open and is offering exclusive experiences, match replays and a question-and-answer experience at its Priceless.com website.
The inaugural e-Open has attracted over 95,000 entries in the first three weeks of qualifying. The knockout rounds will run from August 27-30 and the Grand Final will take place on September 8.
Players compete using the Topgolf’s World Golf Tour online gaming app.
During the four days that the 149th Open would have been contested, the R&A put in place an innovative production that pulled together footage from over the years as golf’s all-time stars competed against one another in The Open For The Ages.
The project included over 300 pieces of archive footage being treated digitally to adjust grading and colour balance, while hundreds of digital corrections were made to clips including the removal of caddies and playing partners from original footage and the introduction of and removal of golf balls on greens.
IMG Productions, an arm of the IMG agency, dedicated over 1,000 hours of editing time to produce the programme with the R&A.