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No women likely to attempt Open qualification

The chances of Michelle Wie and other women playing in this year's British Open Golf Championship for the first time have faded almost to nil.

With the LPGA Tour's Women's World Matchplay event starting on July 6 in the U.S. and regional qualifying for the British Open scheduled for July 5 there will be no eligible women players trying to qualify for the men's major.

The Royal and Ancient Club, which runs the championship, agreed last year to allow women to play if they qualified.

There was a potential for 20 women professionals to take up their British Open regional qualifying entries this year with the top five finishers from the four women's majors eligible.

But the Royal and Ancient said on Tuesday at a Championship preview meeting that all the potential qualifiers had committed themselves to the Women's World Matchplay.

R and A chief executive Peter Dawson said: "The deadline for entries for qualifying is June 1 but as yet, no women players have entered.

"It is still possible we will get women entries and I personally very much hope we will. When we devised the dates for qualifying there was no LPGA event around that week."

Teenager Wie, who has been offered a sponsor's invitation for the men's John Deere Classic the week before the British Open takes place from July 20-23 at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, could conceivably make the starting line-up.

But she would only qualify from that US PGA Tour event as the highest finisher not otherwise already exempt for the Open.

That is an unlikely scenario since despite her huge talent Wie has still to make the cut in any men's event she has played.

For the men qualifiers, Dawson said on Tuesday that local final qualifying will this year take place the on the Monday and Tuesday (July 10/11) the week before the British Open instead of the Sunday and Monday of the same week.

"It allows the qualifiers the same chance to practise on an Open course as the players already exempt, instead of them having to dash over from local final qualifying.

"It was all a bit of a scramble and now this creates a level playing field."



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