British Open Cancelled Due To Covid-19

By Ben Hamill - April 09 2020
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British Open Cancelled Due To Covid-19

Golf’s British Open will not be played this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Reconfiguring an annual major championship schedule is proving to be a tricky task indeed as golf officials this week scramble to try and create a new schedule with no definite end to the current global pandemic in sight. The British Open, last cancelled in 1945 due to world war II, was supposed to be played at Royal St. George in England commencing on July 16th, has now been pushed all the way back to July 15-18, 2021. The R&A explained that this particular pushback was decided on so that the 150th Open remains scheduled to be played at St. Andrews in 2022.

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R&A chief Martin Slumbers at the time of the announcement said that every option was explored as to how The Open could be played this year despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges caused by the coronavirus, but despite the organisation having only the utmost appreciation for the historical value of the event, its simply just not possible to continue as planned. Slumbers referred to the multitude of organisations involved in making a success of The Open each year, including medical emergency personnel, public health authorities, etc., and said that even if it was possible to safely navigate global movement, it would be completely unreasonable to add even more weight onto the shoulders of those already under immense pressure because of the pandemic.

Canadian Open Stays Put In June

Piecing together a new puzzle for all of golf’s major events for the year has proved a near-impossible endeavour. It was decided earlier on this month that the sport’s major organisations would announce their revised schedules at the same time, so as to show solidarity not only with one another, but also with world sports. What’s however proved particularly difficult is putting together a schedule without the benefit of a definite starting line.

The organisers of the RBC Canadian Open have yet to make a final announcement regarding whether or not the event will remain (for now at least) scheduled for June 11 to June 14 in Toronto. But for now, the event stays put in its current slot. An announcement regarding this is expected to follow soon.

4th Cancellation In 160 Years

The R&A has in the meantime confirmed that ticketholders to this year’s event are at liberty to either request a full refund, or to have their tickets transferred so as to cover the 2021 event. The organisation has let on to the BBC that it is able to manage full refunds thanks to pandemic insurance.

The British Open has only been cancelled/postponed on 3 previous occasions, being the two world wars and on one other occasion back in 1871, when no trophy had been available because of Tom Morris Jr having that year been allowed to hold on to the then Challenge Belt for his three-years-in-a-row win of the esteemed event. The Claret Jug was introduced one year later, in 1872.

The British Open was played for the first time in 1860.

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