R&A has ‘cautious optimism’ that British Open will go ahead

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — British Open organizers said Wednesday they have “cautious optimism” that golf’s oldest major will go ahead at Royal St. George’s in July.

The event was canceled last year — for the first time since 1945 — because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the R&A effectively pushing its schedule back one year.

That meant the 149th Open would still be held on the links in Sandwich in southeast England this year and R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said a “rigorous scenario-planning exercise” is underway to ensure it takes place.

“We continue to plan for a full-scale Championship,” Slumbers said in an update, “but also have robust plans in place for a reduced capacity or behind-closed-doors model.”

There is currently a lockdown in place in England amid the rollout of a vaccination program.

“There are undoubtedly many more pressing concerns facing people at the moment but we are trying to look forward with cautious optimism,” Slumbers said. “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.”

The British Open is scheduled to take place from July 15-18.

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