FILE – In this Sunday, July 21, 2019 file photo Ireland's Shane Lowry holds and kisses the Claret Jug trophy on the 18th green as he poses for the crowd and media after winning the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. The organisers of the British Open announced Monday April 6, 2020, that they have decided to cancel the event in 2020 due to the current COVID-19 p
FILE – In this Sunday, July 21, 2019 file photo Ireland's Shane Lowry holds and kisses the Claret Jug trophy on the 18th green as he poses for the crowd and media after winning the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. The organisers of the British Open announced Monday April 6, 2020, that they have decided to cancel the event in 2020 due to the current COVID-19 p

British Open cancelled, Masters makes way

Three of the four golf majors have announced new dates for 2020 amid the coronavirus crisis while the oldest of the lot, the British Open confirmed it would cancel its event for the year.

Tiger Woods will defend his green jacket at the Masters Tournament in November at the conclusion of a radically altered schedule in light of the global pandemic.

The PGA Championship, postponed from May, will kick-off the new-look major season August 6-9 at Harding Park, San Francisco, filling a date made available by the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

And the US Open, the last major to announce a change amid the coronavirus crisis, moves from June to September 17-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York. That will also act as the tune-up event for the biennial Ryder Cup where team Europe will defend the trophy against the US at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, on unchanged dates September 25-28.

The Masters will then be the last, rather than first, major of the year November 12-15 at Augusta National Golf Club.

The revised dates for the three US-based majors were announced shortly after the 2020 Open Championship was cancelled completely.

The 149th edition of golf's oldest major will be held at Royal St George's in July next year, the governing R&A said.

 

The gates will remain locked at the entrance of Magnolia Lane that leads to the clubhouse of Augusta National due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The gates will remain locked at the entrance of Magnolia Lane that leads to the clubhouse of Augusta National due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

 

The decision was made on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and advisers.

It is the first time since World War II that the Open, first played in 1860, has been cancelled.

"Obviously I'm disappointed that I won't get to defend the Open Championship this year but I feel the R&A have made the right decisions based on people's health and safety," titleholder Shane Lowry tweeted.

There has been an immediate knock-on effect to the Open rota with the 150th Championship now being held at the St Andrews Old Course in 2022 rather than 2021.

"Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open," said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.

The cancellation of the Open follows that of Wimbledon.

Only the Formula One British Grand Prix remains in place on the British sporting calendar for the summer, on July 19, with a decision on whether it can take place expected by the end of the month.

And football across the United Kingdom is suspended until at least May with debate ongoing about whether it is possible to conclude the current season.

Originally published as British Open cancelled, Masters makes way