The British Open makes an eagerly-anticipated return on Thursday after a two-year hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic with Englishman Richard Bland set to fire the first tee shot at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, Kent.
It is the 149th edition of golf’s oldest major championship which was cancelled last year for the first time since 1945.
Twelve months on and there will be up to 32,000 fans a day on the course, but there remains a cloud cast by Covid-19 restrictions over the tournament.
Players have to operate in bubbles limited to four people with their team and cannot go to bars, restaurants or supermarkets during the week of the event.
Chief executive of tournament organisers the R&A, Martin Slumbers, admitted on Wednesday it is “probably inevitable” that such strict protocols will result in issues with players at risk of disqualification for breaching the rules.