‘We explored every option for playing The Open but it is not going to be possible’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 6, 2020 15:30

The chief executive of The R&A has explained why the governing body for golf for most of the world has had to cancel the 2020 Open Championship for the first time since World War Two.

Martin Slumbers said: “Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open. 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 this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.

“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale. 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. In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.

“Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding. At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe. We are committed to supporting our wider community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”

Jordan Spieth with the claret jug

The Open was due to be played in Kent from 12-19 July but it has been necessary to cancel the championship based on guidance from the UK government, the health authorities, public services and The R&A’s advisers, adds The R&A in a statement.

This is the first time since the Second World War that golf’s original championship, first played in 1860, has been cancelled.

The 149th Open will be played at Royal St George’s from 11-18 July 2021.

The 150th Open will be played at St Andrews from 10-17 July 2022.

The R&A will transfer over tickets and hospitality packages purchased for the Championship in 2020 to The Open in 2021. Purchasers who no longer wish to (or are no longer able to) attend in 2021 will receive a full refund. Further information on this process will be sent directly to ticket and hospitality purchasers in due course.

In addition, the USGA has announced the following:

Augusta National has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters Tournament, which was previously scheduled for April 6-12 and postponed on March 13.

The US Open, previously scheduled for June 15-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, has been officially rescheduled for September 14-20 and is confirmed to remain at Winged Foot.

The PGA of America is announcing today that the PGA Championship is now scheduled to take place August 3-9 and will remain at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California. The PGA Championship was originally slated for May 11-17 but was postponed on March 17.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 6, 2020 15:30
Write a comment

4 Comments

  1. Matthew R April 7, 11:02

    I bet the US majors will find spaces ???

    Reply to this comment
  2. Peter April 6, 16:59

    “It’s the Right Thing To do !”…called Leadership !

    Reply to this comment
  3. Dave P April 6, 16:57

    Makes good sense. 150th running will still be at The Home of Golf

    Reply to this comment
  4. Trevor P April 6, 16:18

    I have tickets for F1 at Silverstone I am expecting that to be cancelled as well. I think pretty much every public attended event over the next 3-6 months will be delayed or cancelled.

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*

Join Our Mailing List


Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

To advertise in the magazine or online, contact:

Email marketing@thegolfbusiness.co.uk
Tel 020 7803 2453

Twitter Timeline