Planning for The 149th Open will continue on schedule even if the Championship is played behind closed doors, The R&A has announced. R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers issued a statement reiterating that The Open will not be cancelled for the second year running, with plans in place for a “full scale” tournament at Royal St George’s in July.
“We are focused on staging The 149th Open at Royal St George’s from 11-18 July 2021 and on delivering a fantastic Championship for the country and the world of golf,” Slumbers said. “I would like to assure you our fans as well as our players, officials, patrons, partners, contractors and suppliers that we will do all we can to make this summer’s Championship a huge success.”
“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,” he added.
“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.” Slumbers continued. “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.”