Jack Nicklaus (L) and Tiger Woods (R) will compete in a virtual version of the British Open from July 16 to 19 on British Open social media platforms and on the Golf Channel. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
July 7 (UPI) -- Golf fans will get to see Tiger Woods in his prime face Jack Nicklaus in his prime after British Open organizers in Scotland launched a virtual version of the major championship that will air July 16 to 19.
The event, The Open For The Ages, was created by British Open organizers and will broadcast globally on the British Open's social media channels and the Golf Channel on the same dates as the now-canceled British Open. The Open was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are all keenly feeling the absence of the Open from the global sporting calendar this year and so we hope that this broadcast will generate real interest and enjoyment for the millions of golf and sports fans who closely follow the championship every year," said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, which governs the sport of golf worldwide alongside the USGA.
The July 19 Open For The Ages finale will be a three-hour broadcast with real footage of the best golfers from the last 50 years at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. Event coordinators edited the footage to create a dramatic final round for the virtual British Open.
The field includes Rory McIlroy, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros in addition to Woods and Nicklaus.
The winner of The Open For The Ages will be determined by a data model, which combines more than 10,000 fan votes with player career statistics.
"Golf is one of the very few sports where this concept can be created and brought to life," Slumbers said. "The way in which the sport is filmed allows us a truly unique opportunity to reimagine history and bring together the greatest players from many different eras on a scale which has not been done before, either in golf or in other sports."
Woods, Nicklaus, Ballesteros, Faldo and Gary Player each won three British Open titles. Watson won five times. Arnold Palmer won two British Open titles. McIlroy won in 2014.