Women’s Open gets go-ahead in ‘sig­nif­i­cant step’ for game

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By James Cor­ri­gan Golf Cor­re­spon­dent

There will be ma­jor golf in Bri­tain this sum­mer af­ter the R&A con­firmed that next month’s AIG Women’s Open would take place at Royal Troon from Aug 20-23.

The £3mil­lion event will be played be­hind closed doors, but that seems a small price to pay. Re­lief abounds in the fe­male game that its fea­ture­piece did not go the way of the Open Cham­pi­onship, which was sup­posed to be hosted next week at Royal St Ge­orge’s, but has been post­poned un­til 2021.

The R&A and Ladies Pro­fes­sional fes­sional Golf As­so­ci­a­tion, which jointly ntly run the Open, were de­ter­mined d to en­sure the Troon tour­na­ment nt went ahead, de­spite an­other ma­jor or in the Evian Cham­pi­onship be­ing g called off a few weeks ago. The French event was sup­posed to kick-start k-start a three-week run in Europe, ope, with the Ladies Scot­tish Open pen in be­tween.

The lat­ter has now been een con­firmed for the Re­naiss­sance club near North Ber­wick on Aug 13-16, in the week pre­ced­ing Troon.

“We be­lieve play­ing the he AIG Women’s Bri­tish Open is a sig­nif­i­cant step for play­ers whose play­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties have been se­verely im­pacted this year,” Martin n Slum­bers, the R&A chief ex­ec­u­tive, ve, said.

The Re­nais­sance will her­ald rald the first tour­na­ment on the Ladies Euro­pean Tour since March h and, as it is co-sanc­tioned, the third d on the US tour, which is set to re­sume af­ter a five-month hia­tus in Toledo in three weeks’ time. Play­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for Bri­tain’s fe­male pros have been so sparse be­cause of the lock­down that for­mer world No1 Justin Rose set up and backed the Rose Ladies Se­ries, a string of eight events due to fin­ish with the Grand Fi­nal at Went­worth the week be­fore the Scot­tish fort­night.

Ge­or­gia Hall, the 2018 Women’s Bri­tish Open cham­pion, has pledged pledge to play in each of the re­main­ing re­main five Rose Se­ries tour­na­ments – in­clud­ing at Royal St Geor Ge­orge’s to­mor­row – and has wel wel­comed the news of what follo fol­lows.

“T “The Bri­tish Open is ob­vi­ously my favourite event and, al­tho though we’d ob­vi­ously far ra rather it in front of fans, this is a much, much better op­tion th than it not be­ing held at all,” th the English­woman said.

It is un­der­stood that the or­gan­is­ers were wait­ing for the Gov­ern­ment to an­nou nounce it had for­mally granted a sp sport­ing ex­emp­tion from the 14-d 14-day quar­an­tine rule. “G “Get­ting elite women’s sports back safely re­mains a top pri­or­ity,” Nigel Hud­dle­stone, the sport sports min­is­ter, said. “We are worki work­ing hard to en­sure we don’t lose an any of the great mo­men­tum that ha has built up in re­cent years.”

Main draw: Ge­or­gia Hall is pre­par­ing for the Women’s Open, which she won in 2018, by play­ing the Rose Se­ries

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