The 149th Open Championship, set to be played from 12 July to 19 July 2020 has been cancelled due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19. Golf Digest initially reported on 1 April that The 2020 Open Championship would be cancelled. The media speculated that the R&A would keep the following Open Rota as scheduled and simply forsake Royal St Georges. The plan originally involved 2021, 2022 and 2023 played at St Andrews, Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon respectively.
The new schedule, however, will see The Open championships played at the same venues one year later than originally planned. One of the key aspects in the R&A’s decision to postpone The 149th Open is for the 150th Championship to be held in an uninterrupted year. The 149th Open in 2021 will act as a buffer for the world recovering from COVID-19’s financial and economic impacts.
The R&A this morning released an official statement confirming the cancellation of The 2020 Open. The 149th Open will occur at Royal St George’s between 11-18 July 2021, while the 150th Open will transpire at St Andrews between 10-17 July 2022.
As mentioned in Voyages.golf’s previous article, the R&A was exploring every option, including delaying The Open championships by a year: this will allow the 149th Open to take place, albeit a year later. The last time that The Open Championship failed to take place was in 1945 due to World War 2. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently in ICU after becoming infected by COVID-19. Queen Elizabeth II’s national broadcast to UK citizens, everything certainly feels like wartime restrictions on many aspects of daily life.
2020 US Masters
The US Masters tournament is currently scheduled for 09-15 November 2020. The event was officially delayed on 13 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, released a statement emphasising their dependence on “favorable counsel and direction from health officials.” While the US Masters has picked mid-November for their tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur has not fared so well, with its 2020 event cancelled outright.
The US Masters competing in 2020 will be entirely dependent on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. A November Masters at Augusta will see just four months before the 2021 Masters, set for April next year.
Other Golf Majors in 2020
The BBC released a report of the new golf schedule for 2020. If all goes to plan, the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will proceed between 6-9 August 2020. The US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York is scheduled for 17-20 September. The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin will keep its usual date of 25-28 September 2020, while the US Masters will occur from 9-15 November 2020. The Ryder Cup is considering play without any fans. Rory McIlroy was quick to blast the contingency plan. McIlroy said the Ryder Cup would not be the same without spectators.
The new dates for all USA majors will be dependent on how quickly the US can contain the COVID-19 pandemic and whether or not global travel restrictions will be in place. The rest of 2020’s golf majors maylook sparsely populated on TV if the majors go ahead with the new dates.