R&A moving forward with British Open plans

Much to the relief of Shane Lowry, the R&A said in a statement that it is proceeding as “normal” with its plans to host the Open Championship and Women’s British Open this year.

The 149th Open Championship is set to take place at Royal St George’s from July 16-19 with the Women’s British Open scheduled for a month later.

Shane Lowry Shane Lowry won the 2019 Open Championship (Credit: European Tour)

“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,” said R&A Chief Executive, Martin Slumbers.

“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.”

Slumbers pointed out that at this stage they have time on their side but with each passing week, the pandemic situation changes quickly and they will need to be quick to react.

“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.”

“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.”

In the US, the first two majors of the year have already been postponed until later this season with the US Open in mid-June already looking on shaky ground with the US struggling to deal with the outbreak.

“Naturally, I would be very disappointed if The Open was to be cancelled but then in the bigger picture the organising bodies are reacting very professionally to the crisis and we will all be guided by their advice,” said defending champion Shane Lowry, who has already lost the opportunity to tee-up in both the Masters and the PGA as the reigning Open Champion.