R&A devises clever way to recognize lost Open Championship week

In light of the Open Championship being canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the R&A had to figure out a different way to take note of championship week. The governing body will engage in a bit of time traveling to stage a very clever celebration of the great champions to hoist the Claret Jug through the years.

The R&A’s “The Open for the Ages” broadcast will bring together many of golf’s greatest champions for the first time to compete against each other over the Old Course at St Andrews in a three-hour broadcast production on July 19, what would have been the final round of this year’s Open at Royal St. George’s.

Using 50 years of archived footage from past championships – edited together with the addition of modern graphics and new commentary – the R&A will allow viewers to imagine a championship contested by some of the game’s greatest, including Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson, Sir Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy.

The three-hour final-round program – which follows a week of digital highlights, clips and statistics – will be broadcast across a handful of networks, including Golf Channel in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.

Commentators include Ewen Murray, Nick Dougherty, Butch Harmon and Iona Stephen.

Future sites for the Open Championship through 2023

The winner of “The Open for The Ages” will be determined by a fan vote that has registered more than 10,000 responses and a data model developed in partnership with NTT DATA, which utilizes player career statistics alongside the input by fans to calculate the champion.

“Golf is one of the very few sports where this concept can be created and brought to life,” Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of the R&A, said in a release. “The way in which the sport is filmed allows us a truly unique opportunity to reimagine history and bring together the greatest players from many different eras on a scale which has not been done before, either in golf or in other sports.

“We are all keenly feeling the absence of The Open from the global sporting calendar this year and so we hope that this broadcast will generate real interest and enjoyment for the millions of golf and sports fans who closely follow the Championship every year.”

The 2021 Open Championship will be played July 15-18 at Royal St. George’s. The Open returns to the old course at St. Andrews in 2022 for its 150th playing.


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By: Julie Williams
Title: R&A devises clever way to recognize lost Open Championship week
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/07/09/open-championship-clever-broadcast-idea/
Published Date: Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:00:08 +0000

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