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Players Consider Skipping British Open Over Strict COVID Rules

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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.

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Guided by Kevin Harlan on one shoulder, Eli Manning on the other, Alejandro joins the OutKick community with an authentic passion for sports, pop culture, America, and episodes of Jeopardy!

 

Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

16 Comments

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  1. If the players don’t like the conditions being REQUIRED by the Brits, they should tell them to go pound sand. They can take a week off and enjoy their families.

    The tournament is allowing 32,000 people onto the course to watch and drink beer, but won’t allow the players to visit a restaurant or have their families view the tournament from the course.

    That’s pretty overreaching on the part of the open.

  2. Remember when Trump was pushing a liability waiver for business and the Dems blocked it? Yeah, so here we are. Airlines, school districts, etc. All voters for Biden and for (D) candidates for Senate have to be DIRECTLY pointed at. It’s not “my (D) senator from (insert state) isn’t the problem, it’s the other (D)” is completely wrong. Elections have consequences, and like all you arse tards in Arizona (Georgia, etc) that supported the McCain Dynasty, well here ya are. For you special folk asking how my statements about the US political establishment concern the UK, it’s lent them political legitimacy to not even be questioned over the crap they pull (NC State, Tokyo Olympics, etc). The UK and the EU don’t need a whole lot of coverage to act like total wusses, but the United States and Fauci made it a foregone conclusion that they’d do stuff like this.

    You reap what you sow, and when I choose to identify as a 130 pound high school power lifting girl instead of my 260 pound 245 year old male ass, I will rule the world. And someone in Brussels will tell me I’m fighting the good fight.

  3. Someone sane with a lot of money who owns and operates a lot of golf courses (hmmm) should host a separate tournament the same weekend called The Actually Open Championship, and all these pissed off golfers should play in it instead.

  4. Who knew the golf profession was so WOKE? This is just another power grab. I would love to see players stand up and boycott. Incidentally, the way the PGA treated Jon Rahm when he tested positive at the Memorial tournament was abominable. They couldn’t wait until he exited the course and share this information with him in private?? Instead, they had to show how WOKE they are and humiliate him on national TV? Shameful.

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