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R&A gives green light to Women’s British Open

Hinako Shibuno of Japan celebrates after making a birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Women's British Open (Photo by Kyodo News Stills via Getty Images)

The R&A has confirmed that the first women’s golf major of the year, the British Open, can go ahead at Royal Troon from August 20-23.

The event will be held without spectators in line with continued restrictions on large gatherings imposed by Covid-19.

The field for the event will comprise leading players from the World Golf Rankings and will also recognise successful players from recent tournaments around the world, with pre-qualifying and final qualifying events having been cancelled on health and safety grounds.

A bio-secure zone will be created at Royal Troon and only essential personnel, such as players, caddies, officials and staging staff, will be inside the zone. The movements of these people will be limited to the golf course and a designated secure hotel.

All personnel will be required to return a negative Covid-19 test from an authorised testing centre and will be subject to daily temperature checks and other protocols. The R&A will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and work closely with the Scottish and UK governments and the relevant health authorities.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “We have been working closely with our title sponsor AIG, Visit Scotland, Royal Troon and our key advisors to find a way for the Championship to be played safely this year.

“We believe that playing the AIG Women’s British Open is a significant step for players whose playing opportunities have been severely impacted this year. As they compete to be the 2020 champion in historic circumstances, these athletes will continue to inspire golfers and sports fans around the world, who will be closely following events from Royal Troon on TV and social media.”

The 2019 event took place at Woburn Golf Club in England and was won by Hinako Shibuno (pictured) of Japan.

One of the events that will offer up places for this year’s Women’s British Open is the Ladies Scottish Open, which has been given the green light to go ahead from August 13-16 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick. Restrictions will be placed on the number of people allowed on site and no media will be allowed. The event forms part of the Ladies European Tour.