Golf: Open back at improved Carnoustie

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CARNOUSTIE will host its first Open Championship in 24 years when it stages the event in 1999. The decision was announced after extensive investigations into the area around the Scottish links.

Carnoustie dropped off the Open rota principally because of a lack of accommodation, but this has been resolved with the near- certainty that a new hotel will be built on the site of the Dalhousie club house.

Neil Roch, the outgoing chairman of the Open championship committee, said: 'We have gone into it in great detail, and we are certain it will be a very popular venue. Also, there has been a significant improvement in the drainage and water supply in the area.'

It has also been announced that Birkdale will host the 1998 Open. The course last staged the event three years ago, when the greens were criticised. However, a large amount of money has been spent on improving them.

Gary Player, who won the Open Championship on three occasions, has been made the 11th honorary member of the Royal and Ancient.