The Open is officially canceled.
The R&A announced Monday that the oldest major golf championship, scheduled for July 16-19, will not take place at all in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Masters and the PGA Championship were both postponed last month in response to the growing epidemic, the Open is the first major to be canceled since 1945 when all but the PGA Championship were canceled due to the Second World War.
This is the 13th time that the Open has not been played since the tournament began in 1860. All but one of these cancellations have been attributed to the First World War or the Second World War.
Last week, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers denied a report that the tournament had already been canceled, but admitted that a number of options were still on the table, including the postponement. A few days later, the R&A shared that the cancellation was “based on indications from the United Kingdom government, health officials, public services and R&A advisers”.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored all of the options for playing at the Open this year, but that will not be possible,” said Slumbers. “In a difficult time like this, we must recognize that sport must stay out of the way to allow people to focus on the safety and health of their families. We are committed to supporting our community in the weeks and months to come and will do everything in our power. to help golf get through this crisis. “
Although there will be no Open this summer, the Royal St. George’s host course will not be outdone. Slumbers has confirmed that the 2021 Open will be held on the Sandwich links, 10 years after Darren Clarke’s victory. The 150th Open will still take place in St. Andrews as planned, but now in 2022 instead of 2021.
The impact of the cancellation on other future sites on the calendar remains to be seen. The 2022 Open was originally scheduled for Royal Liverpool, and the Royal Troon was scheduled to be held in 2023. No venue beyond 2023 has yet been confirmed.