Women’s British Open will go ahead without fans

The R&A have announced the 2020 Women’s British Open will be played without spectators next month at Royal Troon Golf Club.

It will be the first women’s Major Championship to be played this year and is scheduled to be televised globally to an estimated 11 million fans.

Hinako Shibuno Rookie Hinako Shibuno won the 2019 Women’s British Open (Credit: Tristan Jones/LET)

The field will be comprised of the leading players from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings as well as recognising successful players from recent tournaments staged on the world’s leading Tours.

Pre-qualifying and Final Qualifying events for the Championship have unfortunately been cancelled based on health and safety advice.

The Championship will enforce strict health and safety protocols including the creation of a bio secure zone. Only personnel essential to the Championship’s onsite operations, namely players, caddies, officials, and staging staff, will be inside the zone with their movements for the week limited to the golf course and designated secure hotel.

All personnel will be required to return a negative COVID-19 test from an authorised testing centre and will be subject to further daily temperature checks designed to maintain the integrity of the zone and the health of those within it.

Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, announced that the Women’s British Open would be proceeding as planned and was confident the tournament would be a success despite the prevailing circumstances.

“These championships are important to the success of women’s professional golf.” said Slumbers.

“We believe that playing the AIG Women’s British Open is a significant step for players whose playing opportunities have been severely impacted this year.”

“As they compete to be the 2020 champion in historic circumstances, these athletes will continue to inspire golfers and sports fans around the world who will be closely following events from Royal Troon on TV and social media.”

The Ladies Scottish Open will be played the week before the Women’s British Open at the Renaissance Club, also in Scotland. There will be no fans at that event also.

The Women’s British Open is one of five majors on the LPGA Tour.

The ANA Inspiration in California was moved from April to September 10 to 13, with the Women’s PGA Championship now taking place in October.

The US Women’s Open, originally scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 2, will be held from December 10 to 13, while The Evian Championship was cancelled for this year.

The LPGA Tour has not held an event since the Women’s Australian Open in February but expects to resume its schedule from 31 July at the Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio.