The Open Championship 2020 is the latest major sporting event to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be played on July 16 to 19 at Royal St George's. Despite the cancellation, the same venue is determined to host the next edition of The Open in 2021.
This marks the first time since World War II that golf's original championship has been cancelled. The tournament was first played in 1860.
Ireland's Shane Lowry had won the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush. As a result of the latest decision by the tournament authorities, Lowry will now enjoy a further 12-month extension as the reigning champion.
"Obviously like everybody else, I'm sad and disappointed that the R&A have had to cancel this year's Open Championship. At the end of the day, people's health and safety come way before any golf tournament and I'm sure the R&A has thought long and hard on this and made their decision based on everybody's safety. I look forward to seeing go all in Royal St George's in 2021," said Lowry, in a post on Twitter.
The 150th edition of the Open Championship which was originally due to take place next year will now be played at St. Andrews, Scotland on July 10 -17, 2022. The 2022 edition of the competition was originally set to be organised at Royal Liverpool, England. With everything pushed back, that venue will have to wait for another year.
The Chief Executive of The R&A, Martin Slumbers mentioned that their "absolute priority" is the protection of the fans' health along with that of the players, officials, and all the staff members involved in the competition.
ESPN reports that Slumbers admitted to having made this decision of cancelling the historic championship with a heavy heart.
Other than The Open, a long list of golf tournaments and other sporting events have already been either postponed or cancelled.
The PGA Championship was originally due between May 14-17. But now, it has been moved to Aug. 6-9. The U.S. Open, originally due on June 16-19 is now moved to September 17-20, and will be held at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York. The Masters was supposed to start this week at Augusta National. However, it is now moving to Nov. 12-15.
The Ryder Cup will take place in its original date, September 25-27, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin.