The Open Championship 2020 has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears

  • Will Day
2019 Australian Open Golf: Day 1

This year’s Open Championship has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Open is the only men's major to be currently cancelled in 2020 however will resume in 2021 with the 149th championship still being held in Kent at Royal St George’s.

R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers explained in a public statement: “We have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible."

Despite this not coming as a major shock to most golf fans, there was talk earlier this week of the event being postponed and moved to later on in the year.

There was, at one point, a possibility of The Open being back-to-back with the Masters- another event in danger of being cancelled.

Although it is thought The Masters and PGA Championship are going to follow suit, these events are yet to be cancelled and they remain large talking points for the United States Golf Association (USGA).

It is the first time in 75 years that the event has been cancelled (the last time being 1945 due to World War II).

The event has also only been cancelled two other times since its origin in 1860. The first in 1871 when no trophy was available because Tom Morris Jr was allowed to keep the Challenge Belt for winning the tournament three times in a row and the second being because of the First World War.

The 149th Open will now be played at Royal St George's from 11-18 July 2021, meaning the R&A can keep the 150th Open at St Andrews, in July 2022.

In a statement on the R&A website, Slumbers said: "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.”

Slumbers later added: "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."

The 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry Press Conference

The R&A has confirmed that all tickets bought for this year's event will be transferred to next year's event, with full refunds for those people who will not be able to be in attendance next year.

Defending Open Champion, Shane Lowry took to Twitter to say: "Obviously I'm disappointed that I won't get to defend the Open Championship this year but I feel the R&A have made the right decisions based on people's health and safety. See you all in Royal St George's in 2021."

Royal St George’s has hosted The Open a total of 14 times, the most recent of those coming in 2011 where Darren Clarke came out on top, winning by three strokes.

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