A limited number of spectators will be allowed to attend next month's Scottish Open at The Renaissance, the European Tour has announced.
The event, rescheduled from its usual July date to October 1-4 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be allowed to welcome 650 spectators per day on Saturday and Sunday in addition to players, caddies, limited media and essential personnel.
The controlled return of a strictly limited number of spectators follows the European Tour’s policy of playing events behind closed doors since the full resumption of the season in August.
It sees the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open join a series of pilot sporting and cultural events being considered in Scotland, to help support the return of fans when it is safe to do so.
The 650 spectators per day on the weekend will be limited to daily general access ticket holders from Edinburgh and the Lothians. All previous ticket purchasers have been contacted to advise that their tickets will be automatically refunded, with those from Edinburgh and the Lothians given priority access to repurchase the limited number of tickets available under the new terms and conditions.
The proceeds from daily ticket sales will be donated to SAMH, Scotland’s national mental health charity, which has been confirmed as the tournament’s official charity for 2020.
Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open Championship Director, Rory Colville, said: “We are very pleased to be able to welcome weekend spectators to the Renaissance Club this year, while abiding strictly by the European Tour health strategy and Scottish Government guidelines.
“While the numbers on site will be strictly limited to continue to minimise risk we will be able to offer Scottish golf fans the opportunity to watch their national open, which we and our valued partners at Aberdeen Standard Investments and the Scottish Government felt was important, if we were able to do so in a safe and controlled manner. It’s also gives us a great opportunity to tee off our partnership with Official Charity SAMH.
“We’re delighted to be able to support the important work that SAMH carries out in mental health support, social care and education across Scotland by donating the revenue from weekend tickets sold, as well as a host of other charitable activities in and around tournament week.”
The Scottish Government’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “I am pleased that the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open will take place in front of a limited number of spectators – a significant milestone for events in Scotland.
“I’d like to thank the European Tour and other partners for developing plans for this pilot event to be held safely, not just for the benefit of the spectators and players, but as a way of developing and shaping best practice, ultimately providing a pathway to the safe return of events as soon as we are able.