Videos by OutKick
The 149th Open Championship will feature a number of COVID guidelines and policies that are rubbing some participants the wrong way. The Open was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and though many hoped for a big rebound in 2021, it is already facing backlash for the self-imposed restrictions.
In an interview with Golfweek, an anonymous participant set to join the Open Championship discussed the qualms that most players have with the COVID guidelines.
“I’m going to go because it’s the British Open. But I certainly thought about not going. I just can’t believe with the numerous examples of successfully run safely held tournaments and majors here that they can’t figure out a better situation,” said the anonymous source.
The player pointed out the uneven standard set by the Open’s strict guidelines.
“If someone on your plane tests positive on way to the British and is sitting anywhere close to you, you’re out no questions asked, no matter if you’re vaccinated. It’s aggravating that they deem the tournament safe enough for 32,000 fans a day to attend, but won’t let a player’s wife, children travel and watch the tournament, nor will they even let players visit a restaurant without threat of disqualification.
“No one outside the accommodation ‘buddy’ group is permitted to visit other self-catering private accommodation. This would be a breach of the COVID-19 protocols and could lead to withdrawal from the championship.
“They care more about the revenue of the fans buying beers than they do about the actual people participating in the tournament,” said the player who spoke with Golfweek. “Any fan can go to a grocery store or a restaurant and we can’t. Does that make sense? And I’m vaccinated. How does that make sense?”
Former English golfer Pete Cowen was in full support of the anonymous interviewee’s feedback and put the spotlight back on the decisions enforced by the Open’s committee.
“It makes no sense at all when there will be 60,000 at Wembley, 140,000 at Silverstone (race track) and all those at Wimbledon on the weekend before — sitting next to each other. I suppose I should be grateful I am going at all, as initially the wording of the regs made me believe instructors would be banned.”
Back in May, the PGA of America announced that the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits will host an at-capacity crowd this upcoming September.