SANDWICH, England – While he does not go so far as to say that a player is automatically disqualified for violating strict protocols, R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said on Wednesday that such a violation violates the player’s position in The Open endangered.
“I think he’s in danger of being disqualified,” Slumbers told an R&A news conference in Royal St. Louis. George’s said, where the 149th Open Thursday begins. ‘I learned that I’m giving the guidance and governing that you want to understand the circumstances, but I do not think that would be a problem.
“I think players know what the risks are. They know what it will affect. They are all responsible. They do not want to endanger their teammates. I would like to see them as professionals in this regard.”
The R&A operates The Open – which was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic – under strict rules as set out by the UK government.
Most important among them is the inability to go to a week or golf course except for the player’s residence. Players are limited to a ‘bubble’ of four people that includes their caddy plus a coach, manager or trainer. All of these people must abide by the rules or risk the player’s disqualification.
Players also face strict contact detection rules, so they are disqualified if they are in contact with another person who is positive about COVID-19.
‘The worst thing you can get is that a player you contact is tracked, because as you know here, if your contact is tracked, you’re in quarantine for ten days and you can not test it. outside the championship again, ‘said Slumbers. “If you go to the core of all the protocols for the players, it’s just about contact tracing.”
On the other side of these protocols is the fact that up to 32,000 spectators a day at Royal St. George will be. That’s 80 percent of the capacity, and yet it’s still going to be the most at any professional golf tournament since the start of the pandemic.
With weakened restrictions in the United States and at the PGA Tour, no event – except perhaps the PGA Championship in May – approached these levels of people on the field.
“We worked very hard with the government to do that,” Slumbers said. “We are very aware of the environment in which we all work. There are very strict conditions for any spectators to come on the pitch, and they are kept further away from the players than we would normally do.
“If you go out, you can see that the ropes are further back. But I think spectators play a big role in sport; nothing but the Open Championship. If you wait and see what the 18th Sunday afternoon is like when the winner comes down “If the crowd is in the stands, that’s what the Open is for us.”