Report: US pros "may boycott" Open Championship

The Open At Royal St Georges

It is being claimed that a number of US-based tour pros are contemplating boycotting next month’s championship in protest at strict COVID-19 protocols in place for the event.

According to a Golfweek report, a lengthy list of specific mandates sent by the R&A to participants has drawn the ire of a number of PGA Tour players, who have claimed that their plans for the championship have now been thrown into chaos.

The 149th edition of the event is scheduled to take place at Royal St George’s in Kent from July 15-18 having been postponed last year due to the pandemic.

However, it could be missing a number of its stars if the Golfweek report proves accurate.

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It quotes a section of the email sent to players, which states: “The up-to-four persons [regulation] within private rental accommodation must be included within the players’ own support group … For example, multiple players or multiple caddies are not permitted to share private self accommodation.

“We recognise this is difficult for many that used to share during the championship but the Government’s strict contact tracing requirements mean that this will not be possible in 2021.”

The same report quotes one player, who wished to remain anonymous, as saying: “I just can’t believe with the numerous examples of successfully run, safely held tournaments and majors here that they can’t figure out a better situation.

“If someone on your plane tests positive on way to the British and is sitting anywhere close to you, you’re out no questions asked, no matter if you’re vaccinated. It’s aggravating that they deem the tournament safe enough for 32,000 fans a day to attend, but won’t let a player’s wife, children travel and watch the tournament, nor will they even let players visit a restaurant without threat of disqualification.”

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Top coach Pete Cowen echoed those sentiments, saying:” There are going to be 32,000 fans allowed in every day and they’re saying we can’t stay in anything other than the dedicated hotels - most of which are already sold out - because we’d be mixing with the public. And we can’t stay together, like we have on the PGA Tour for the last year. We have all been vaccinated and will have been tested before we are allowed in.”

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