The British Open will return to the Old Course at St. Andrews in '21 for what will be the 150th edition of golf's oldest championship, the R&A announced, according to Shrivathsa Sridhar of REUTERS. The championship was last held at the venue in '15, when Zach Johnson defeated Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four-hole playoff to win his second major. R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said, "The championship enjoys a historic and celebrated relationship with the Old Course and we are excited to be marking the occasion of the 150th Championship at the home of golf in 2021" (REUTERS, 2/12). The BBC reported it will be the 30th time the Scottish course has staged the tournament, "extending its own record" (BBC, 2/12).
NO READMISSION: In Edinburgh, Martin Dempster reported members of golf clubs in Carnoustie, Scotland, "will not be affected" by a no-readmission policy set to be in place at this year's Open Championship at the Angus venue. Concerns had been expressed in the build-up to the event about the local clubs "losing out financially due to the implementation of a new policy introduced at Royal Birkdale last year." But, according to Slumbers, members of those clubs "will be able to come and go freely when golf's oldest major returns to Carnoustie" for the first time since '07 (SCOTSMAN, 2/12).
The awarding of the Ashes venues for the '23 series in the U.K. this week puts England & Wales Cricket Board Chair Colin Graves "in a complicated position," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. The Graves family trust is owed around £22M ($30.4M) by Yorkshire, so Headingley hosting one of those five marquee test matches "would be very helpful to the county's bank balance." However, Headingley "faces stiff competition" from the other test-staging grounds, in particular Lord's and The Oval, which are "certain to host two Tests, as well as Edgbaston, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, the Ageas Bowl and Sophia Gardens." The ECB said that Graves "played no part" in the independent panel which will put its recommendations -- done on a "totting-up points basis on strict criteria" -- to the ECB board on Wednesday, and that the ECB chair, along with other board members with "strong" county links, would withdraw from the discussions "if they felt conflicted in any way." Hampshire Chair Rod Bransgrove remains "remarkably optimistic that his beloved Ageas Bowl will be one of the favoured five." But that would mean three tests in the south of England, which "would cause uproar in the north" (DAILY MAIL, 2/11).
New Zealand is seeking the hosting rights for the 2023 Netball World Cup. Netball NZ last month submitted an "expression of interest" to the Int'l Netball Federation to host the event in '23 and will "present its formal bid to Council in June." The pitch will center on plans to "tie the tournament into broader celebrations around the game," with Netball NZ to mark its centenary year in '23 (STUFF, 2/12).
Developer Codemasters and the World Rallycross Championship launched an esports series based on the DiRT 4 game. The winner of the DiRT World Championships will receive a test in an RX2 car at the British round of the World RX series, SpeedMachine, held at Silverstone. Motorsport Network will act as media partner to the DiRT World Championships (MOTORSPORT, 2/12).
Pune, India, may no longer be home to an Indian Premier League franchise. The Maharashtra Cricket Associationstaked claim to host two of the four playoff games of the IPL's upcoming edition at its int'l stadium on the outskirts of the city. MCA President Abhay Apte, in a letter addressed to IPL Chair Rajiv Shukla on Monday, cited IPL's practice of awarding the first qualifier and final to the defending champion, while the eliminator and second qualifier are "usually staged at the home of the previous season's losing finalist" (THE HINDU, 2/12).