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They use to have to take a boat to The Open

They use to have to take a boat to The Open

The Open Championship is back. While not morning people, we’ll will be setting our alarms bright and early for Thursday morning.

One guy not setting an alarm for an actual tee time will be Kevin Na.

Na has decided to opt out of this year’s event due to “international travel considerations” (Charles Howell III is also foregoing a trip to Kent).

Huh? “International Travel Considerations”?

The R&A has put in place a number of rules for those playing at Royal St. George’s next week in light of continuing Covid-19 concerns juxtaposed with the R&A allowing up to 32,000 spectators per day on the grounds:

  • negative tests prior to and upon arrival, masking/distancing in common areas onsite
  • hotel/off-site housing limited to four people (aka - player’s “support group”)
  • support groups can’t co-mingle, family members must quarantine prior to joining group
  • No mixing with the general public (i.e no restaurants, supermarkets, pubs, etc.)

A bit surprising that John Daly is still playing given this pub and grub ban.

Even with all these “difficulties” in attending the Open, it is still a major, the oldest major. Let’s also not forget that players used to literally take a boat to get to the Open. A boat!

Perhaps, as penance for their petulance, Chucky and Kev should have to charter an old, old wooden ship and navigate their way to the Firth of Fife for next year’s contest at St. Andrews.

Fun Fact - a few others are also skipping the Open; the most blatant involves Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim. As South Korean nationals, both gentlemen are subject to mandatory military service at some point in their near futures.

Interestingly, they can avoid this service if they win an Olympic medal.

This makes their decision to skip out on one of golf's four major championships to get prepared for the Olympics a little more understandable.