The R&A has provided an update on its plans for the AIG Women's Open, and it's good news for golf fans.

The AIG Women's Open was held behind closed doors and without spectators last year, but following an announcement from the R&A, it looks like we might be able to go and watch the action in person this summer.

The 2021 staging of the major tournament is set for Carnoustie from August 19 to 22, where champion Sophia Popov will be hoping to retain her title.

This morning (March 23), The R&A's Chief Executive, Martin Slumbers, issued a message to fans to update them on the governing bodies plans for the AIG Women's Open, which is one of the biggest and most important events, if not THE most important, on the women's tour.

While he makes no promises due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the over-arching message is that he is 'encouraged' that fans will be able to return this year.

AIG Women's Open update

The open letter, addressed to golf fans, reads:

"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.

Last year the AIG Women’s Open was the only major sporting event to be played in Scotland. 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 provide 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

Chief Executive, The R&A"

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