Coronavirus: R&A 'proceeding as planned' for The Open and AIG Women's British Open

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers is hoping both The Open and AIG Women's British Open will go ahead as planned at Royal St George's and Royal Troon respectively this summer. Picture: Getty ImagesR&A chief executive Martin Slumbers is hoping both The Open and AIG Women's British Open will go ahead as planned at Royal St George's and Royal Troon respectively this summer. Picture: Getty Images
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers is hoping both The Open and AIG Women's British Open will go ahead as planned at Royal St George's and Royal Troon respectively this summer. Picture: Getty Images | Getty
The R&A is "proceeding as planned" for this year's 149th Open at Royal St George's and AIG Women's Open at Royal Troon but, at the same time, is "considering contingency options" due to the coronavirus.

In a statement on the pandemic, which has already forced both The Masters and US PGA Championship to be postponed in the next couple of months, chief executive Martin Slumbers delivered an update on the two majors run by the St Andrews-based organisation.

“Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety of players, fans, officials, staff and all involved in our championships and that will be at the forefront of our thinking as we monitor developments," he said.

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“We have some time before we start building the infrastructure at both venues and so we are keeping the scheduled dates in place for The Open and AIG Women’s British Open at this point.

"We recognise that this is a rapidly changing situation and we will keep everyone informed of any changes to our plans.

"These are difficult times but we are bearing in mind our responsibility for what’s right for golf and most importantly for society.”

On the amateur front, two international events have been cancelled - The R&A Student Tour Series Final at St Andrews and Carnoustie and The R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur Championship at Fulford,

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"We are closely monitoring the constantly-moving situation in the COVID-19 pandemic and carefully following the advice issued to us by the UK Government, relevant health authorities and our medical consultants," said a statement.

"We will keep the status of the rest of the amateur championship season under review.

"Looking to our professional events this summer, we are undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of our plans to stage The 149th Open at Royal St George’s and the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon, which are four and five months away respectively.

"This includes examining a range of scenarios for staging the championships, with our focus on proceeding as planned, as well as considering other contingency options available to us."