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The organisers of the Scottish Open have admitted that they are hopeful of allowing some fans to attend this year’s tournament.

The event is scheduled to take place at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian from July 8-11, returning to its traditional pre-Open date having been moved to October last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With most of Scotland still living under tight mitigation measures but the roll-out of vaccines continuing to gather pace, organisers of the tournament are hopeful that, at the very least, a limited number of spectators can be safely accommodated.

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“We are cautiously optimistic about the return of some fans to our events later this year when it is safe to do so,” said the European Tour in an email. “We will continue to follow the latest Scottish Government guidance in this respect.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week laid out a roadmap in which he has targeted June 21 for the removal of all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England. 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, however, has been more cautious in her planning, saying only that she hopes to be in a position to lift the ‘stay at home’ order on April 5 and return to regional lockdown measures by late April. 

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The Scottish Open is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events on the European Tour this season. Part of the money-spinning Rolex Series, it has a prize fund of $8million.

England’s Aaron Rai won the COVID-delayed staging of the tournament last October, defeating compatriot Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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