Royal Liverpool has been chosen ahead of Royal Lytham and St Annes to stage golf’s 2022 Open Championship.
Hoylake has staged The Open more recently than the Fylde coast links but the Merseyside course’s wider spaces and potential to accommodate larger crowds appear to be have been decisive factors in the Royal and Ancient’s decision.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers described Royal Lytham and St Annes as “a bit tight”.
Royal Liverpool will stage golf’s original championship for the 13th time from July 10-17 2022.
The venue was last chosen to host the 2014 Open, when Rory McIlroy won from wire to wire, whereas Royal Lytham and St Annes last hosted in 2012, when Ernie Els lifted the Claret Jug for the second time.
After St Andrews was confirmed as host for the 150th Open in 2021, Slumbers had stated the 2022 Open would be staged “south of the border”.
And with Royal St George’s in Kent already confirmed as next year’s host, that left Royal Lytham St Annes as next in line on the ‘rota’.
However, Royal Liverpool has got the nod and crowd numbers would appear to be a factor.
Slumber said: “Royal Lytham is a fantastic course and in terms of infrastructure is right up there.
“We get around 200,000 spectators in the week but it’s a squeeze and the TV compound is five acres of land.
“That’s where Lytham gets a bit tight but it can be done. Hoylake is a bit easier in that regard.
“We are lucky to have three great courses in that part of the world and choosing between them is never easy but Hoylake will be a great venue.”
The third course Slumber was referring to is Royal Birkdale, which attracted a total attendance of 235,000 when The Open was last held there in 2017.
That is a record for an Open staged anywhere other than St Andrews, beating the 230,000 benchmark set by Royal Liverpool when Tiger Woods triumphed in 2006.
The 2012 Open at Royal Lytham St Annes attracted over 180,000.
Slumbers added: “We know there will be tremendous excitement among golf fans at the prospect of its return to Royal Liverpool.
“Its famous links has a cherished history and has produced a revered group of champion golfers, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy most recently.”
Turnberry is the only venue on the ‘rota’ which has waited longer between Opens than Royal Lytham and St Annes, having last staged the event in 2009.
This is the first time since 1952 that the Linksgate course has gone over a decade between Opens
The Fylde coast venue will stage the Senior Open Championship for the first time in 25 years this July.