British Open will reduce its age limit to 55 for future champions

Updated Mar. 6, 2024 11:12 a.m. ET

The British Open is reducing the age limit to 55 for winners of the claret jug this year and beyond, part of a few tweaks to its exemption categories announced Wednesday.

Among the changes are to take the leading five players from the International Federation Ranking — the top players from the money lists of Japan, Asian, Australian and South African tours, plus the next-highest player in the world ranking from those tours.

That provides a path this year for Andy Ogletree, now with Saudi-funded LIV Golf, who won the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year. The PGA Championship also has provided spots from the International Federation Ranking.

The 152nd British Open is July 18-21 at Royal Troon in Scotland.


The Open changed its age limit from 65 to 60 in 2010, and it now will be 55 for anyone winning at Royal Troon and in future years.

It is not likely to have a dramatic effect. Phil Mickelson, who won at Muirfield in 2013, will be 54 this year at Royal Troon but will be able to play until he is 60. Ditto for John Daly, who will be 58 at this year’s Open. He can continue playing until 60.

The 55-age limit applies only to the Open champions from this year and onward.

The Open still includes the top 30 from the Race to Dubai on the European tour, securing a spot for Adrian Meronk, who joined LIV and already has fallen out of the top 50, and the top 30 from the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour.

It has added an exemption for the new Africa Amateur champion, to go with spots for the Latin America Amateur and Asia-Pacific Amateur champions.

Still in effect is the top 50 in the world ranking through May 26. LIV’s request to be part of the Official World Golf Ranking was rejected last fall. It has only four players in the top 50 — all already exempt for the Open — and this week said it has withdrawn its OWGR application.

LIV Golf players not exempt for the Open include Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia. Their best path into golf’s oldest championship would be either the Italian Open (part of the Open Qualifying Series and one week after a LIV event in Tennessee) or final qualifying on July 2.


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