The 149th Open Championship has been cancelled, while 2020’s three other men’s major golf competitions have been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The Open was set to take place in July at Royal St George’s, but the official 149th iteration of the competition will now be hosted by the venue in 2021.
Despite the cancellation of the Open Championship, the Masters has been rescheduled from April to November, the US PGA championship is now set to take place in August and the US Open has been moved from June to September.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (The R&A) chief executive, Martin Slumbers, said, in a statement, this marks the first time The Open has been cancelled since the Second World War.
“We have explored every option for playing The Open this year, but it is not going to be possible,” Slumbers said.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The 2020 golf competition calendar now is headlined by the remaining three majors and the Ryder Cup, all of which are now scheduled between August and November.
The Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, the R&A and USGA released a joint statement stating their approach to the remainder of 2020.
“We remain very mindful of the obstacles ahead, and each organisation will continue to follow the guidance of the leading public health authorities, conducting competitions only if it is safe and responsible to do so,” the statement said.
The R&A also added all tickets already purchased for the 2020 Open Championship will be transferred to the 2021 iteration, with full refunds available for those who will not be able to attend.