The R&A Chief Executive is optimistic about this year's Open at Royal St George's

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Martin Slumbers: “Very Good Possibility” Of Fans At The Open

R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers has said that there is a “very good possibility” that this year’s Open Championship will be able to have fans.

The tournament is set to return this year after being the only men’s Major to not take place in 2020.

Golf’s oldest Major is due to be played in July at Royal St George’s, with Slumbers telling Sky Sports News that “we will play The Open this year.”

“We are certainly planning to stage The Open, but clearly at this point there are multiple scenarios,” Martin Slumbers said on Sky Sports News.

“We are working with the government and health authorities, and 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.”

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Slumbers also says he will be monitoring how The Masters goes, with Augusta recently announcing that a limited number of patrons will be allowed on-site.

“It’s quite interesting. After this dreadful year that we have all gone through, collaboration and learning are two concepts that we’re all picking up a lot more,” he said.

“So, yes, I’m talking to my colleagues at Augusta, I’m watching, I’m learning and we are all doing that as we grapple what’s going to be the ‘new normal’.”

Shane Lowry will defend the Claret Jug this year after winning at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Royal St George’s will host the championship for the 15th time and first time since 2011, when Darren Clarke won his first Major.