Preparations for Open proceeding as planned

The St Andrews based R&A says it’s “proceeding as planned” with preparations for the 149th Open Championship.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th March 2020, 10:05 am

With The Masters and The PGA Championship already postponed, there is a growing worry the sport’s other two Majors, the US Open and the Open Championship, may have to follow suit due to the coronavirus outbreak.

But in a statement released on Thursday, the R&A, organisers of the Open Championship, says it is “closely monitoring” the constantly moving situation and following advice issued by the UK Government and other authorities.

Two of its international amateur events – The R&A Student Tour Series Final at St Andrews and Carnoustie and The R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur Championship at Fulford, which were both due to take place next month, have already been cancelled.

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The status of the rest of the amateur championship season is being kept under review.

The statement added: “Looking to our professional events this summer, we are undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of our plans to stage The 149th Open at Royal St George’s and the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon, which are four and five months away respectively.

“This includes examining a range of scenarios for staging the championships, with our focus on proceeding as planned, as well as considering other contingency options available to us.”

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, added that the governing body’s “absolute priority” is the safety of players, fans, officials, staff and others involved at its championships.

“We have some time before we start building the infrastructure at both venues and so we are keeping the scheduled dates in place for The Open and AIG Women’s British Open at this point.

“We recognise that this is a rapidly changing situation and we will keep everyone informed of any changes to our plans. These are difficult times but we are bearing in mind our responsibility for what’s right for golf and most importantly for society.”