The Open Coming Back To Kent
21 February 2017, 11:38 | Updated: 21 February 2017, 11:41
Historic golf tournament The Open is coming back to Kent and it is predicted it could boost the county's economy by as much as £100m.
The Royal and Ancient has announced that the 2020 Open Championship will be played at Royal St George's, Sandwich which was the scene of Darren Clarke's memorable victory in 2011.
Royal St George's, which voted in March 2015 to admit women members, will stage the Open for the 15th time and the first since Clarke held off the challenge of Phil Mickelson and new world number one Dustin Johnson.
"It was an unbelievable feeling to lift the Claret Jug and know that my name was displayed on the trophy alongside so many of the greatest players ever to play the game,'' Clarke said.
"The Open is what it is all about for me as a golfer and it is the championship I always dreamt of winning from when I first took up the game as a kid.
"I have so many wonderful memories from that week at Sandwich and I will be thrilled to go back there for The Open in three years' time.''
Last time The Open was hosted in Kent in July 2011, 180,000 tickets were bought for the four day tournament and the economy was boosted by £77million. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club found that just over £24million pounds of that was amount was extra spending in the county, while the benefit of images of Kent being beamed to hundreds of millions of homes around the work during the tournament is thought to be worth £52.6 million.
James Furber, the captain of Royal St George's, said: "We are delighted and honoured to be invited to host The Open in 2020. This is tremendous news for the club and a wonderful commercial opportunity for Sandwich, Thanet and Kent.''
The 149th Open will be played from July 16-19, 2020. St Andrews is set to host the following year's tournament to mark the 150th staging of the game's oldest major.