R&A has 'cautious optimism' for full scale Open Championship
The chief executive of the event’s organisers, Martin Slumbers, gave a full update on the plans now being put in place for this summer’s 149th running of the tournament, which will be played at Royal St George’s from July 15-18.
In an interview broadcast last week, Mr Slumbers said he was hopeful fans could be in attendance at the Open, a message he reinforced on Wednesday of this week.
However, as much as R&A would like to see fans line the fairways come the summer time, the chief exec added that on-going safety advice was always at the forefront of the organisation’s mind.
Mr Slumbers said: “We are acutely aware that this remains a difficult time for so many people and the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is causing substantial disruption to all our lives, but there is growing cause for optimism with the rapid roll-out of the vaccination programme.
"There are undoubtedly many more pressing concerns facing people at the moment but we are trying to look forward with cautious optimism.
"We believe that seeing the world’s best men’s golfers in action at golf’s original championship will bring some much needed joy and excitement back into our lives this summer.
“With that in mind, we have been working closely with the government, our medical advisers and partner agencies as part of a rigorous scenario-planning exercise for staging The Open this year.
"We continue to plan for a full-scale championship but also have robust plans in place for a reduced capacity or behind closed doors model.
“I can also assure you that we would like nothing more than to welcome you, our amazing fans, to The Open once again this July.
"We will be doing all we can to make that happen while ensuring the safety of all involved and following all necessary government guidance.
“Thank you and stay safe.”
A limited number of patrons will be allowed entry to the Masters when it is held in April.