Is this a bad omen for The Masters?

Augusta National

There are fresh fears over the prospect of the rescheduled Masters Tournament going ahead in November after the Australian Open, due to be contested the same month, was today postponed.

The organisers of the fifth-oldest professional tournament in golf decided to pull the plug on this year's event at Kingston Heath due to ongoing concerns caused by COVID-19.

It is possible that the event could be played early in 2021 but even that looks unlikely.

“These are very challenging times for all Australians and the uncertainty the global pandemic has caused makes it very difficult to be definitive in relation to future dates at this time,” said Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse.

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"We will continue our positive ongoing discussions with our major stakeholders which include the Victorian Government, our corporate partners, the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and other international tours about potential dates.

"However, it must be noted that there are many unknowns at the moment, which is problematic."

One of the major concerns officials currently have centre on assembling an international field for the 116-year-old tournament, with Melbourne current experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases.

That will surely have sounded alarm bells amongst the Augusta National Tournament Committee ahead of The Masters.

Of the 50 states in the USA, only six have recorded more COVID cases since January than Georgia, whilst this year's field - which was finalised in May - is set to comprise 84 players from 24 different countries, spanning six continents.

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The positive news is that next week's US PGA Championship is scheduled to go ahead, albeit behind closed doors. However, Lee Westwood and Eddie Pepperell won't travel, despite being eligible to play, due to coronavirus concerns.

The US recently relaxed quarantine restrictions for inbound players travelling to play on the PGA Tour. However, that's not to say that might not change again, with the 'second waves' of the pandemic surfacing in various countries around the world, including several in Europe.

Your thoughts...

Do you think The Masters should go ahead in November? Or would officials be better off cancelling this year's trip to Augusta National? Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.

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