Golf

Shortrush: R&A Will Allow Players To Practice In Shorts At The Open

Shortrush: R&A Will Allow Players To Practice In Shorts At The Open

For the very first time, entrants to this year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush will be permitted to bare the pins on the fairways, after the R&A revoked a ban on player's wearing shorts during the event.

It will be the first time that participants will have the option to wear short trousers in the 159 years of the competition.

The move brings the Royal and Ancient into line with practices on both the European and PGA tours, where players have enjoyed the option to don less material on hot practice days.

European Tour players have been enjoying airy freedoms since 2016 with those playing the American circuit coming on board with the idea only in February this year.

It's a move that reigning champion Francesco Molinari endorses wholeheartedly.

Francesco Molinari, The Open, Royal Portrush

Speaking at a media day, the Italian said he didn't see why the likes of himself, Tiger Woods and home-favourite Rory McIlroy shouldn't have the option to don shorts if they so wish at the Co. Antrim links.

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"There are people playing in shorts all around the world", said the 36-year-old.

Whilst the R&A has yet to decree that players will be able to play in the garments during the official competition, they have said that those participating in final qualifying will have the right to exercise the option and have hinted that in instances of extremely hot weather, a call could be made to allow the iron-swingers the right to dress down at future events.

Needless to say, if you've ever been to Portrush, you'll know they're safe enough in terms of making any big decisions on the matter this year.

The north-coast links played host to the first Open Championship to be held outside of the mainland UK in 1951 and makes a return to the venue in July for the first time in 68 years.

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Aaron Strain

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