Is door still Open for Carnoustie?

Padraig Harrington was the last Open winner at Carnoustie
Padraig Harrington was the last Open winner at Carnoustie

The rumour mill is in full swing in Carnoustie after the announcement of Royal Portrush’s addition to The Open circuit earlier this week.

Initial fears that this might bump a Scottish venue from the list were later dispelled by Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, calling the Irish course an addition rather than a substitution.

But what does this then mean for Carnoustie?

With this year’s competition taking place in Royal Liverpool and the 2015 and 2016 Opens handed to St Andrews and Royal Troon, respectively, it is highly unlikely that there will be three Scottish venues in a row, pushing Carnoustie even further back on the schedule.

Carnoustie last hosted The Open in 2007 which was won by Irishman Padraig Harrington and at the time it was suggested that the competition would return within a decade.

Rumours have been flying thick and fast, with many favouring Carnoustie for the 2018 slot, but at the moment the R&A are being tight-lipped.

A spokesperson for the R&A said: “We have announced the hosts for The Open up to and including Royal Troon in 2016 and we wouldn’t comment further than that at this stage.”

According to the R&A hosting The Open can deliver an annual economic boost of up to £100 million to its host region, and if Carnoustie and Angus in general were to pick up even a fraction of that total for Scotland it would be a massive pick-me-up.

Chair of Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee Pat Sawers commented: “Carnoustie is delighted to be considered for future Open Championships.

“The Open Championship is of huge importance to Carnoustie and Angus in terms of both the tournament itself and the ongoing benefits that accrue from being an Open venue.”

She added: “Carnoustie Links has a very good working relationship with the R&A and meet regularly. At the moment the focus is on the Amateur Championship in 2015 and the Senior Open in 2016, but the possibility of future Open Championships at Carnoustie is also a subject for discussion.”