Update (Thursday, 12:15 p.m. ET): The Royal and Ancient Golf Club clarified that all options are on the table, including postponing The British Open, but that a decision has not been made.
“[R&A is] continuing to work through our options this year, including postponement,” chief executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement. “Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve.”
It said it will provide a further update as available.
Original story below:
The last of golf’s four major championships is preparing to pull the plug.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews is expected to cancel The British Open as early as Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Golf Digest. It will mark the first time since 1945, when it was canceled due to World War II, that the iconic tournament won’t be played.
The British Open was set to start on July 16 at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in England, and was the fourth and final major championship of the year. The Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open have all already been postponed.
The PGA Tour suspended operations due to the coronavirus last month after the first round of The Players Championship. It has canceled all future events on all Tours — including the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour Champions — through the AT&T Byron Nelson, which was set to finish on May 10. The LPGA has also suspended operations.
The R&A officially pushed both the British Amateur and the British Women’s Amateur back from June to August this week, and moved the Curtis Cup back to next summer, too, per the report.
Royal St. George’s was set to host its 15th British Open, and its first since 2011. The Old Course at St. Andrews is scheduled to host next year’s British Open, and is still expected to do so despite this year’s cancelation.
Wimbledon made a similar move earlier on Wednesday, canceling the 2020 tournament for the first time since World War II amid the pandemic.
There were more than 900,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide as of Wednesday night, according to The New York Times. The United Kingdom had more than 29,000 confirmed cases alone, the eighth-highest country in the world and the fifth-most in Europe. The United States had the most with more than 206,000 confirmed cases.
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