Officials announced on Monday the cancellation of this year’s Open Championship, but said the PGA Championship, US Open, and Masters have all been rescheduled for later in the year. The coronavirus pandemic caused the postponement of the four major championships early in March.
This marks the first time since 1945 that golf’s oldest major won’t be contested. R&A CEO Martin Slumbers, which oversees the event, said playing it on its scheduled date of July 16-19 at Royal St. George in Kent, England isn’t prudent, and no alternative date could be found.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing the Open this year, but it is not going to be possible,” Slumbers said. “There are many different considerations that go into organizing a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organizations 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.”
|Major Championship||Old Date||New Date|
|Masters||April 9-12||Nov. 12-15|
|PGA Championship||May 14-17||Aug. 6-9|
|US Open||June 18-21||Sept. 17-20|
|Open Championship||July 16-19||Canceled|
The tentative plan is to play the now canceled Open Championship next year at the same location on July 15-18. St. Andrews was going to hold the 150th edition of the Open Championship next year, but instead will have it in 2022.
Masters Moves to November
The Masters, PGA Championship, and US Open all managed to find new dates this year to contest their tournaments. The Masters was supposed to begin Thursday, but will now be held in November. That will be the first time the tournament has been played outside of the month of April since its inception in 1934. Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said the date is incumbent upon the coronavirus not being a public health threat.
“We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials,” Ridley said. “Provided that occurs and we can conduct the 2020 Masters, we intend to invite those professionals and amateurs who would have qualified for our original April date, and welcome all existing ticket holders to enjoy the excitement of Masters week.”
Tiger Woods is the defending champion but is not the favorite to repeat. Rory McIlroy is the top pick to win the green jacket at 7/1. Woods is at 10/1.
PGA Championship, US Open Get Summer Dates
The PGA Championship is returning to its old calendar spot in the first week of August. The major was played in the second week of May for the first time last year.
This year’s PGA Championship was set to be played in San Francisco’s Harding Park. California is one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, and Governor Gavin Newsom said he wasn’t optimistic that any sports would be able to be held that early.
“I’m not anticipating that happening in this state,” Newsom said. “We’ve all seen the headlines over the last couple of days in Asia, where they were opening up certain businesses and now they’re starting to roll back those openings because they’re seeing some spread (of the virus) and there’s a boomerang. One has to be very cautious here. One has to be careful not to over-promise.”
The US Open will be held five weeks later at Winged Foot Golf Club in another hard-hit area in Westchester County, New York, just north of Manhattan. United States Golf Association CEO Mike Davis said in a statement he is optimistic the major will be played.
“We are hopeful that postponing the championship will offer us the opportunity to mitigate health and safety issues while still providing us with the best opportunity to conduct the U.S. Open this year,” Davis said.