“Very good possibility” of fans at Open says R&A chief

Claret Jug

Martin Slumbers has said that he expects there to be fans, in some capacity, at the 149th Open Championship later this year.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, the R&A chief executive said he is confident that the Open Championship, set to be staged at Royal St George’s in July, will go ahead and is also hopeful of welcoming spectators to the event.

"We will play The Open this year," he told the channel. "We are certainly planning to stage The Open but clearly, at this point, there are multiple scenarios.

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"We are working with the government and health authorities, and it's certainly a lot more complex than staging a normal Open Championship, but we are going to do everything we possibly can to put on a great championship for the country.

"I think there's a very good possibility we will be able to have spectators but we will have to wait and see how many. We are balancing the health and safety of everyone involved, but I strongly believe The Open needs spectators.”

Augusta National recently announced that plans to admit a limited number of patrons at The Masters in April and Slumbers revealed he is keen to see how that plays out.

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"It's quite interesting. After this dreadful year that we have all gone through, collaboration and learning are two concepts that we're all picking up a lot more," he added.

"So, yes, I'm talking to my colleagues at Augusta, I'm watching, I'm learning and we are all doing that as we grapple what's going to be the 'new normal'."

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