By Dan Palmer |
The 2020 edition of golf’s The Open Championship has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been confirmed.
Organizers the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) said it was “necessary” to call off the major based on health advice from the Government and other authorities.
This year’s Open was due to take place between July 16 and 19 at the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich in England.
The Kent course will now play host in 2021, for what will be the 149th edition of golf’s oldest event.
The 150th Open at Scotland’s famous St Andrews course will now take place in 2022.
No edition of The Open has been canceled since the Second World War.
The R&A announced on Thursday (April 2) that they were still considering their options for this year, amid widespread reports that organizers would cancel.
“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A.
“We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart.
“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.
“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale.
“We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with.
“In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could.
“We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.
“Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding.
“At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe.
“We are committed to supporting our community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”
Tickets and hospitality packages for 2020 will transfer over to next year, the R&A said.
Alternatively, full refunds can be requested.
The R&A also said it was reviewing its remaining professional and amateur events this year.
Known as the British Open outside of the United Kingdom, The Open is the only major not held in the United States.
It was first played in 1860 and is considered by many to be the most prestigious golf tournament.
All three of the other golf majors will take place this year but have moved dates.
The PGA Championship will take place between August 6 and 9, the US Open will be held between September 17 and 20 and the Masters will take place from November 12 to 15.
The R&A’s remaining professional and amateur championships scheduled this year are under review and we will continue to update on any further changes.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.