14 July, St Andrews, Scotland: Gamers around the world will be able to test themselves against the unrelenting challenge of links golf as the inaugural e-Open presented by Mastercard launches today.
The virtual stroke play tournament will take place over the iconic links of Royal St George’s from 13 July to 8 September, with qualifying events and knock-out rounds running throughout July and August leading to a Grand Final showdown in September.
Players of all skill levels from beginners to advanced gamers can take part and will be powered by the WGT by Topgolf platform, the world’s most realistic free virtual golf game which has been enjoyed worldwide by more than 28 million players.
Neil Armit, Chief Commercial Officer at The R&A, said, “We have seen esports become hugely popular and enjoyed by gamers all around the world. The e-Open presented by Mastercard will give golf fans a unique opportunity on a global platform to challenge themselves against other gamers in a virtual tournament over Royal St George’s.
“We have been working on The e-Open for some time now and are pleased to be able to launch the inaugural tournament during what was due to be the week of the Championship this year. It will complement The Open for The Ages, which is being broadcast this Sunday as a very special celebration of the Championship.”
“We are excited to share The Open experience digitally with fans throughout the world. With new advances to our livestream capabilities, our WGT by Topgolf platform makes accessible one of the most prestigious tournaments on the same course as the pros, outfitted with first-hand challenges, rewards and nuances of Royal St George’s”, said President of Topgolf Media, YuChiang Cheng.
“We are humbled to be selected by The R&A to produce the first ever official e-Open and allow anyone with a smartphone or computer to have the chance to win it.”
As presenting partner of The e-Open, and Official Patron of The Open, Mastercard is helping to make sure that the very first e-Open will be one fans will not forget. During the qualifying round, two Mastercard golf ambassadors will take part in a priceless experience by swapping their clubs for keyboards and go head-to-head in live Exhibition Match to be played over Royal St George’s. Fans will be able to tune into the live action in what will prove to be a real highlight of the new tournament.
World class prizes will be on offer for the champion of The e-Open (subject to eligibility as defined in the Official Rules and Regulations), including a once-in-a-lifetime experience at The 149th Open at Royal St George’s next year. Exclusive content and digital experiences will also be made available for fans through Priceless.com.
The e-Open presented by Mastercard starts on 13 July with official qualification stages now open for entry. The tournament will be played through a series of rounds over the coming weeks in a longer style format. Following qualification, a competitive knockout stage will be played from 27-30 August before the Grand Final is contested by the very best players on 8 September.
Visit TheOpen.com for more information on how to enter The e-Open.
Notes to Editors
About The e-Open presented by Mastercard
Compete in The e-Open Qualifying tournament for a chance to win a trip to The 149th Open in 2021, in collaboration with The R&A and Mastercard. Post your best score in the unlimited play round and the top 32 leaderboard scores will move on to a bracket round to determine the final two players that will compete in a live streamed final. Everyone that enters The e-Open will also receive a free Mastercard branded virtual golf ball. The e-Open is free to enter and open to all WGT players on eligible platforms, see rules for details and prize eligibility.
The Ultimate winner of The e-Open presented by Mastercard will win a grand prize trip for two to The 149th Open in 2021 at Royal St George’s, including Open Championship tickets, flights and hotel, and exclusive event experiences. The runner-up will win a golf bag signed by Tom Watson. In addition, five lucky competition entrants will each get £250 (~$320 USD) to spend in The Open Online Shop. See rules for details.
The e-Open presented by Mastercard Format
Qualifying Stages – Monday 13 July to Sunday 23 August
Live Exhibition Match – Monday 10 August
Knockout rounds – Thursday 27 August to Sunday 30 August
Grand Final – Tuesday 8 September
About Topgolf Entertainment Group
Topgolf Entertainment Group is a technology-enabled global sports and entertainment community that connects people in meaningful ways through the experiences we create, the innovation we champion and the good that we do. What started as a simple idea to enhance the game of golf has grown into a movement where people from all walks of life connect at the intersection of technology and sports entertainment. Topgolf Entertainment Group’s platforms include Topgolf venues, Topgolf Media, Topgolf International, Toptracer and Topgolf Swing Suite.
About World Golf Tour (WGT by Topgolf)
WGT by Topgolf, an Esports expression from Topgolf Entertainment Group and part of Topgolf Media, connects people in meaningful ways through a free, realistic, virtual golf gaming experience. With a fan base of more than 28 million users, WGT brings people together from around the world to play championship courses in photorealistic quality using the latest virtual golf equipment.