The British Open made an impatient comeback after a two-year hiatus on Thursday after firing the first shot at the Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent, with Englishman Richard Bland due to a coronavirus epidemic.
This is the 149th edition of the oldest major golf championship, which was canceled for the first time since 1945.
The course will have 32,000 fans in 12 months and one day, but the cloud cast remains on the tournament due to the Cove 19 restrictions.
Players have to work in bubbles limited to four people on their team and cannot go to bars, restaurants or supermarkets during the week of the event.
The tournament’s chief executive, Martin Slaibers, acknowledged on Wednesday that it was “perhaps inevitable” that such a strict protocol would put players at risk of disqualification for violating the rules.
Ruling Masters champion Hideki Matsuoma and 2015 Open champion Zach Johnson tested positive for the corona virus, while two-time major champion Bob Watson was identified as the closest link to the positive.
Tiger Woods is another notable missing when he recovered from multiple leg fractures in a high-speed car crash in February.
However, the best cast of the game will be available for the last major of the year.
“After such a difficult time last year or for the whole world, I have to admit that we may be able to go to the open stage again, relaxed, happy and a little emotional,” Slaibers said. Are. “
“It has been a challenge that we have been able to reach this point and we have no illusions about the complexities of the problems caused by epidemics, especially when you are hosting a World Games event with 27 athletes. Trying to do it. Bringing different countries and all of them into the country. “
The Masters, the USPGA Championship and the US Open overcame the difficulties caused by the epidemic by moving from their traditional places in the golfing calendar later in 2020.
The option was rejected for the British Open due to a lack of lighting at the end of the year, while Slaibers also highlighted that it would make unreasonable demands on emergency services and local authorities during a health crisis.
Bland described the “honor” of hitting the first shot of the championship as “something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
The 48-year-old was the leader of the US Open halfway through last month, but he is only making his third appearance at the British Open, where he made his debut in 1998.
Spaniard John Raheem is a favorite after claiming his first major at the US Open, but history has shown that form at the Royal St. George’s Open is a rare guide.
Ben Curtis was a 500/1 outsider when he picked up the Claret Jug in 2003, while Darren Clarke was ranked 111th in the world before winning when he last became the greatest golfer in British golf 10 years ago. The event took place in Sandwich.
“All I wanted to do was get my name on the Claret Jug and I did it here, so it will always be special to me,” Clark said.
“It’s almost as tough a golf course as we’re playing on Open Rota. I was thinking this week with the wind, ‘How did I ever win here?’ But I did it, so it’s always my Proven to be a favorite golf course.
Staying on the fairway will be the key to the success of the fast coarse fish in recent weeks.
But the weather is fine for four days of competition.
Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.