Mel Reid withdraws from Evian Championship ahead of Olympics due to new travel restrictions

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Melissa Reid had produced a patriotic variation on a golf theme – skipping a major to give herself the best possible chance of making it to the Olympics.

As Charley Hull and Georgia Hall emulated Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton by turning down the chance to represent the GB team in Tokyo – citing busy schedules and concerns about Covid19 travel restrictions – fellow Reid took the approach opposite.

The world No.38 withdrew from the Evian Championship – which begins Thursday – after it was announced that anyone entering the UK from France would have to self-isolate for 10 days, even if they is fully vaccinated, amid concerns about beta-variant cases.

The rule change – which took effect on Monday – reportedly impacted Reid’s trip to Japan for the women’s tournament, starting August 4, with Reid skipping the major instead to limit any risk of restrictions preventing her from representing the ‘GB team.

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“Incredibly disappointed to withdraw from the Evian Championship this year due to the recently implemented travel rules which prevent the return to the UK from France in time for the team’s Olympic departure,” said Reid.

“I have worked tirelessly with my team and the LPGA Tour to find a way to compete in both, but unfortunately at this point there is no assurance on any firm solutions and the risk of missing out on the unique opportunity. to compete as an Olympian is just too high.

With England chasing their first major since 2018, it’s a shame as Reid was supposed to be the second Briton in the French major. At number 35 in the world, Hull is top ranked and is in good shape after placing third in the Aramco Series opener two weeks ago.

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Reid is not the only high profile absent from the £ 3million event. Six of the top 20 players chose not to make the trip, including No.6 Danielle Kang, No.8 Yuka Saso, No.9 Nasa Hataoka and No.11 Lexi Thompson.

“Each to their own when it comes to a schedule,” said Nelly Korda, the world No. 1. “I know a few top girls are missing this week just because it was a lot of traveling, a lot of big events coming up. At the end of the day I think they’re just thinking about how their bodies are going to be. and don’t get tired, but I would never miss a middle finger.

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Jacques Bungert, the tournament director, maintains that the prestige of the fourth major of the season has not been diminished. “Honestly, we have fantastic terrain,” Bungert told Golfweek. “And we feel lucky to have that kind of terrain because of the conditions, the travel restrictions, the Delta situation right now in the UK, for example, and the situation with the Olympics obviously.”

Korda is to be ranked as the favorite after her major breakthrough at the US Women’s Open last month. better, ”said Korda, 22.

“It’s very cool to be world No. 1 and that’s another ticked goal. I’m very proud of my success this year, but I want more. It’s so nice to be back at Evian after last year’s postponement The views alone make it a very special place.

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