There will be no Open Championship in 2020. The R&A who run the only Major Golf Championship to take place outside the United States, made the announcement today that rather than postpone and seek to rearrange that the next Open will take place at Royal St George’s in 2021.
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.
This is the first time since the Second World War that golf’s original Championship, first played in 1860, has been cancelled.
Because the Championship runs by number rather than by year it will still be the 149th Championship, at the same venue, just 12 months later than expected.
The 150th Open will be played at St Andrews Golf course in Scotland from 10-17 July 2022.
All 2020 purchased tickets and hospitality packages will be transferred 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.
“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open,” said Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A.
“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 we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and 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 community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”
The R&A’s remaining professional and amateur championships scheduled this year are under review.
The only times that the Open has not been held previously were for five years between 1915 and 1919, and for six years between 1940 and 1945 during the two World Wars, as well as once in 1871.