This year’s Open is due to take place from July 16-19 at Royal St George’s and it is hoped the competition will take place as planned; however, organizers at the Royal & Ancient are keeping their options open after canceling two international amateur events scheduled for next month.In a statement released Thursday said, the R&A said: “We are undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of our plans to stage The 149th Open at Royal St George’s and the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon, which are four and five months away respectively. This includes examining a range of scenarios for staging the championships, with our focus on proceeding as planned, as well as considering other contingency options available to us.” Organizers of this year’s British Open say their focus is on the event “proceeding as planned” despite the coronavirus pandemic.Golf has been impacted by the spread of the virus, with the Masters and the PGA Championship, scheduled for April and May, respectively, having been postponed and the PGA and European tours put on hold. Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety of players, fans, officials, staff and all involved in our championships and that will be at the forefront of our thinking as we monitor developments.”We have some time before we start building the infrastructure at both venues and so we are keeping the scheduled dates in place for The Open and AIG Women’s British Open at this point. We recognize that this is a rapidly changing situation and we will keep everyone informed of any changes to our plans. These are difficult times but we are bearing in mind our responsibility for what’s right for golf and most importantly for society.”Last year’s event was won by Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush. It was his first triumph at one of golf’s four majors.
CLEAR LAKE — A Clear Lake man who originally entered an Alford plea in a sexual abuse case but had that set aside by a district court judge is scheduled to go on trial tomorrow.61-year-old Amando Montealvo was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse after being accused of sexually abusing two girls under the age of 12 in Clear Lake 13 to 17 years ago. He was sentenced for up to 10 years in prison after entering an Alford plea to one count of lascivious acts with a child as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.Montealvo in January 2018 filed a petition in district court for post-conviction relief, claiming that his attorney failed to properly advise him of the consequences of the plea agreement would have on his immigration status. Court documents state that he is in the United States legally but is not a citizen.District Judge Rustin Davenport this past February ruled that attorney Barbara Westphal did inform Montealvo that he would immediately be removed from the country and that there would be a bar on his legal re-entry if he accepted the plea deal. Davenport says though that Westphal did not advise him that he would be subject to mandatory detention during removal procedures or that he would be subject to 20 years in prison if he attempted to re-enter the United States.Davenport set Montealvo’s conviction aside but ruled the original charges should be re-instated. Montealvo has opted to take the case to trial rather than re-enter plea negotiations.Second-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony, which means if Montealvo is convicted of both charges, he could face up to 50 years in prison.