Golf – The 149th Open Championship – Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Britain – July 15, 2021 Republic of Eire’s Shane Lowry in motion on the first tee through the first spherical REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
July 15, 2021
SANDWICH, England (Reuters) – The 149th British Open started underneath clear skies and loads of sunshine on Thursday as England’s Richard Bland hit the opening tee shot on the undulating Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent.
The championship was cancelled final 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic however as much as 32,000 followers can be allowed in every day this 12 months after discussions with the federal government and public well being authorities.
Bland belted a high-quality shot down the green because the opening group, which included Andy Sullivan and Marcus Armitage, got a heat reception by the spectators.
Defending champion Shane Lowry has been grouped with former winner Louis Oosthuizen and Spain’s current U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm for the beginning of this 12 months’s fourth main.
Different notable teams for the primary two rounds embody four-time champion Rory McIlroy, winner of the Open in 2014, taking part in alongside American Ryder Cup rival Patrick Reed.
A lot of gamers have withdrawn from the event, together with Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and 2015 British open winner Zach Johnson, who’ve each contracted the novel coronavirus.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Peter Rutherford)