The LPGA Scottish swing has been given the green light for next month. The R&A announced on Tuesday that the AIG Women’s British Open would be contested Aug. 20-23 at Royal Troon without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open will precede it at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick and will also be closed to fans.
The Women’s British will be the first women’s major contested in 2020 and will be broadcast globally to more than 11 million fans. Together the two tournaments will have $6 million in prize money on offer.
The news comes two days after UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that exemptions from border restrictions would be put in place for a number of athletes and events staff.
“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,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A. “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.”
Pre-qualifying and final qualifying events for the WBO have been canceled due to health and safety concerns. The top 5 players not already exempt from the Marathon Classic will be in the field as well as the top 3 players, not already qualified, from the Ladies Scottish Open.
The R&A said that a bio secure zone will be created in which only essential personnel will be admitted, namely players, caddies, officials and staging staff.
“We are all happy to hear that women’s golf will be getting back underway in Scotland and especially grateful to Aberdeen Standard Investments and VisitScotland for working so hard to make this happen and putting all the necessary COVID-19 related practices in place and for being so supportive of the women’s tours,” said Catriona Matthew, European Solheim Cup captain and 2009 WBO winner. “With men’s professional golf back playing, it is important that we are able to follow suit, so this is really excellent news for the women’s game and I am delighted to be preparing for my national open in just over a month’s time.”
On July 8, LPGA players will have a Zoom call with officials to learn more about the details of upcoming events. Players have voiced concerns about being stuck overseas after testing positive for coronavirus.
The LPGA is set to restart on July 31 at the new Drive On Championship at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. While that event will be closed to spectators, the next week’s Marathon Classic is still set to have fans, but that could change after the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament pulled the plug on fans on Monday.
International players might be less likely to fly overseas to quarantine for two weeks if only one event takes place in Toledo.
Credit: Source link