Rickie Fowler Concerned With R&A’s COVID-19 Protocols For 149th Open

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler tees off from the 1st hole during a practice session at The 148th Open golf Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland on July 16, 2019. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Rickie Fowler is not happy with the player protocols put in place by the R&A for the 149th Open Championship, essentially calling it nonsensical.

As we wrote about last week, the R&A has implemented uber-strict protocols for the upcoming Open Championship at Royal St George’s which ignores a players’ vaccination status, kicks players’ families to the curb, and bans any kind of socializing or entertainment.

“I’m vaccinated or whatever you want to call the shots,” said Fowler on Saturday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “I guess they’re not — they’re vaccines, but unfortunately I know going over there, it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not.

“Yeah, there’s definitely some concerns.

“Guys have been talking to me or have been talking to other guys, been making calls or sending texts back and forth with some of the people with the Open.

“Just with any questions or concerns that we have because there’s multiple things that come up as far as if there happens to be a couple people on the plane that test positive when you get there. You know, what happens with that?

“Obviously we’re all going into our own small bubbles, can’t be around other players.

“It seems like us as players, we’re jumping through some hurdles and dodging bullets and they’re having 32,000 fans a day at the tournament, so I don’t know.

“I can’t really answer questions clearly with all that going on.”

The ‘bubble’ Fowler is referencing is what the R&A is calling a “buddy team” with players assigning three people to be part of four-person bubble inside of the larger Open bubble.

The four “buddies” must stay in government-approved hotels or private residences and are prohibited from going to restaurants, bars and grocery stores during tournament week.

Wives can attend if they’re part of the “buddy team” but do not get exempted and must either a.) already be in the UK or b.) complete a 10-day quarantine period.



  1. The men’s Wimbledon final just finished this morning with a Packed House. No social distancing and very few masks evident. Why is the Open being so much more restrictive?


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