British Open 'proceeding as planned' as organizers consider options

Sporting News

Organizers of this year's British Open say their focus is on the event "proceeding as planned" despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Golf has been impacted by the spread of the virus, with the Masters and the PGA Championship, scheduled for April and May, respectively, having been postponed and the PGA and European tours put on hold.

This year's Open is due to take place from July 16-19 at Royal St George's and it is hoped the competition will take place as planned; however, organizers at the Royal & Ancient are keeping their options open after canceling two international amateur events scheduled for next month.

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In a statement released Thursday said, the R&A said: "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, said: "Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety of players, fans, officials, staff and all involved in our championships and that will be at the forefront of our thinking as we monitor developments.

"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 recognize 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."

Last year's event was won by Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush. It was his first triumph at one of golf's four majors.

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