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Open Championship officials to consider shorts for practice rounds from 2016

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Players will not be allowed to wear shorts in practice rounds for this year's Open Championship, but tournament officials will consider it in the future.

European Tour players can now wear shorts in pro-ams and practice rounds after their tournament committee unanimously voted in favour of the proposal this week in Abu Dhabi.

The PGA Tour are highly unlikely to follow suit, but a spokesman for the R&A said: "We welcome initiatives that ensure golf remains modern and relevant to today's generation of players, but we do have to maintain a balance with the traditions of the game.

"While we already have our conditions of entry for the 145th Open at Royal Troon, this is something the Championship Committee will consider in future.

"It would certainly be a pleasant dilemma to have if the weather here in mid-July is sufficiently warm for shorts to be desirable."

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley approved a request from European captain Darren Clarke to relax the dress code in the oppressive heat and humidity ahead of last week's EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

Clarke and Lee Westwood also wore shorts in practice ahead of the Abu Dhabi Championship on Tuesday, before the issue was debated that evening by the committee.

Pelley said there is "no plan" for shorts to be allowed in tournament rounds, although the likes of world No.3 Rory McIlroy would be in favour.

''I don't think it takes anything away from the tradition of the game or etiquette or how guys look on the course," McIlroy said. "I don't think it takes anything away from that, so I don't see why not.

''Obviously we are not going to go out in shorts at the Open Championship if it's 10 degrees and raining. But at the same time, if we're playing in a hot country and it's more comfortable for guys to wear shorts, then there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to.''

World No.1 Jordan Spieth was also in firmly in favour, adding: ''I did not get the memo or I would not have been wearing pants today [Wednesday]. I think it's a great idea and would like to see it on the PGA Tour as well. I just wish my hotel was closer or I would have gone back [to change].''

Ty Votaw, a spokesman for the PGA Tour, told Golfweek: "We are aware of the European Tour's change in policy that allows players to wear shorts at certain events during practice and pro-am rounds. The PGA Tour's policy remains unchanged. Players are required to wear long pants when playing practice, pro-am and official competition rounds."