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Open Championship Stands Built at Royal St George's

By: Golfshake Editor | Tue 20 Apr 2021 | Comments

The pandemic impacted everyone, including golf's oldest championship, The Open, which saw its 149th edition at Royal St George's postponed by an entire year until this July

It represented the first season that the Claret Jug hadn't been contested for since the Second World War.

Fortunately, we still had a taste of major links golf from the Women's Open at Royal Troon - brilliantly won by Sophia Popov - but a year without the original championship seemed a comparatively empty one.

That said, an Open without the unique atmosphere of the gallery would have lacked a key ingredient, something that will hopefully be restored in the summer if restrictions allow.

Speaking in February, R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said: “We will play The Open this year. We are certainly planning to stage The Open, but clearly at this point there are multiple scenarios. It’s certainly a lot more complex than staging a normal Open Championship. But we are going to do everything we possibly can to put on a great championship for the country.

“I think there’s a very good possibility we will be able to have spectators, but we will have to wait and see how many. We are balancing the health and safety of everyone involved, but I strongly believe The Open needs spectators. It will be really important to have some, but we want to make sure we do it smartly, intelligently and with due diligence.”

Organisers are preparing for a range of eventualities, but work has already started on the spectator infrastructure at the historic Sandwich venue.

Royal St George's has been sharing early progress across social media, documenting the stands being assembled around the 1st tee, where Shane Lowry will be first introduced as the defending champion.

The operation began just over a week ago.

We knew it was coming, but it's welcome to finally have some structural evidence that the 149th Open will take place this July, a decade after Darren Clarke memorably triumphed over the storied links in the South East of England.

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