Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of the R&A, revealed the news in an open letter to fans


2021 AIG Women’s Open To Be Played In Front Of Fans

In an open letter to fans, Martin Slumbers, the Chief Executive of the R&A, revealed that the 2021 AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie will go ahead with fans in attendance, although the exact number remains unclear.

Despite the success of the event last year at Royal Troon, there were no spectators allowed on site to enjoy the action as Sophia Popov captured the hearts of the golfing world en route to her first major title.

However, with Scotland progressing out of lockdown, we can look forward to the return of at least some fans whose presence at sporting events around the world has been sorely missed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2021 AIG Women’s Open gets underway on August 19th and will see the best female players in the world take on the challenge of Carnoustie.

The open letter in its entirety can be read below:

Dear fans, 

Like many of you, we have been closely following the progress of the Scottish government’s roadmap and welcome the growing sense of optimism that measures can be eased in the weeks ahead. We share that positive sentiment and I would like to briefly update you on our plans for this year’s AIG Women’s Open, which will be played at Carnoustie from 19-22 August. 

The AIG Women’s Open was the only major sporting event to be played in Scotland last summer. This was incredibly important to the women athletes who competed and whose playing opportunities had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. It was a fantastic championship with Sophia Popov’s fairy-tale win proving perseverance, belief and hard work are the markers of success.

However, one thing was missing – you, the fans. 

Fans bring a whole other dimension to the AIG Women’s Open, from the cheers erupting across the course, to the nail-biting tension at the 72nd hole and the laughter, joy and camaraderie of celebrating the world’s best women golfers. You are what elevates a championship from memorable to truly special.   

We are greatly encouraged that we will be able to welcome fans at the AIG Women’s Open and I would like to assure you that we are working with the Scottish and UK governments, our health and safety advisers, agencies and our partners at AIG to progress our plans to ensure that everyone can enjoy the action at Carnoustie safely. 

Nothing is certain with the COVID-19 pandemic but as the vaccine roll out continues at pace and the governments are focusing on a clear framework for moving back toward normality, we believe that the AIG Women’s Open will provide fans with something wonderful to anticipate this summer. 

Let’s look forward to the final putt being rolled in on the 72nd hole to a huge roar from fans at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie. 

Until then, thank you and stay safe.  

Martin Slumbers.

Related: 18 Things You Didn’t Know About Sophia Popov