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The Open to return to Royal St George’s in 2020

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) has awarded hosting rights for the 2020 Open Championship to Royal St George’s in the English county of Kent.

The 149th edition of the UK’s major will be played at the historic links course for the 15th time and the first occasion since it voted to scrap its male-only membership policy. Founded in 1887, Royal St George’s had opted to retain the all-male member policy that had been present since its foundation until March 2015.

The Open was last played at Royal St George’s in 2011 when Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (pictured) claimed victory. James Furber, the captain of Royal St George’s, said: “This is tremendous news for the club and a wonderful commercial opportunity for Sandwich, Thanet and Kent.

“The club is most grateful to all those in the local authorities who have worked so hard with us over the last few years to bring this about. We look forward to working with the R&A and others over the next three years to deliver one of the world’s most prestigious championships in 2020.”

Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, added: “In 2011 there were over 180,000 visitors to The Open, and an extra 37,000 passengers travelled on the special high speed train service from London St Pancras. The benefits to the tourist economy were massive, amounting to over £64m (€74.2m/$79.7m).”