Australian Open Golf Committee: It’s not just sport anymore

Written by Staff Writer Sydney , September 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — – Players returning from a holiday in the most infectious and dangerous period in the season should read warning labels before being rushed…

Australian Open Golf Committee: It's not just sport anymore

Written by Staff Writer

Sydney , September 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — – Players returning from a holiday in the most infectious and dangerous period in the season should read warning labels before being rushed into the mix on a playing field.

Traditionally, with a bit of savvy customer service, an eligible freebie offers the best of both worlds for the player who wants to participate in the Australian Open without being too keen on their health.

Although the same hasn’t been achieved by the Australian Anti-Doping Authority, the Australian Open was targeted in 2013 with an urgent message to players and tour directors: Keep immunization up to date.

This significant step by the Australian Open Golf Committee prompted the FAN Board and players to take immediate actions to ensure each player was aware of their sporting obligations.

The Order of Merit winners of the 2015 tournament were informed they were ineligible for the next year’s event if they hadn’t had their vaccinations within the last month.

The Committee said that there was no alternative, as without this measure, players were at risk of contracting athletes’ foot from an infection acquired on the first day of the tournament and possibly followed by other infections contracted over the next few days.

Four years later, the 2017 Australian Open Golf Committee has now confirmed there will be no accommodations for unvaccinated players in an effort to spread the message about the importance of vaccination.

Any player who does not have a vaccination status certification from their doctor is deemed ineligible for the tournament.

“Vaccination is of course a personal choice for each player, but there is no doubt that it’s a world class sporting event that relies on the health and well-being of the players,” said tournament director Adam Briggs.

“Our aim is to create a family event that allows everyone to come together and have a great experience.

“It would be a challenge to accommodate any player who does not have their vaccination status documentation up to date, which means we will not be waiving the Rule of Merit.”

The Rule of Merit has been in place since 2013 and players found to have not complied with the required immunization status certification were deemed ineligible for the 2014 Australian Open.

This year, the tournament will be held from 15-22 January 2018 at the Australian Open National Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria.

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