Report: Open Championship to be CANCELLED

Claret Jug

The R&A is set to CANCEL this year's Open Championship, according to a report in the US.

A Golf Digest story has quoted an unnamed source as saying that this year's event, due to take place at Royal St George's from July 16-19, will not take place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Instead, the championship will next be staged in 2021.

The Golf Digest report claims that Royal St George's would not be the venue next year and that the R&A would, instead, stick to its currently scheduled rota of courses. 

That would be somewhat of a surprise with St Andrews - next year's intended host - having been selected for 2021 in order to ensure it stages the 150th edition of the oldest men's major championship.

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However, with so much accommodation and many hospitality packages already have been purchased for next year, it is thought that making further adjustments than are absolutely necessary would create more headaches than they would solve.

Royal St George's is now expected to stage the championship in 2024.  

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Golf Digest's report is also stating that insurance has weighed on the expected decision. Like Wimbledon - which announced its own cancellation yesterday - the R&A is believed to have a policy that covers it against the outbreak of a global pandemic. However, it is thought that, in order to collect on that premium, the organisation would have to cancel the championship by a specific date.

A formal announcement could be made as early as today.

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The Open would become the first of this year's major championships to be called off completely. The Masters and US PGA have both been postponed, with plans afoot to stage each before the end of the calendar year. 

No formal decision has, as yet, been announced on the status of the US Open but it is believed it, too, will be postponed and potentially moved away from Winged Foot Golf Club to a different host venue.

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Since it was first contested in 1860, there have only been 12 years in which the Open Championship has not been played. The first of those was in 1871 when there was no trophy available. World War I caused its postponement between 1915 and 1919, with the Second World War doing likewise between 1940 and 1945. 

Shane Lowry won the most recent edition of the championship, claiming the Claret Jug in thrilling fashion at Royal Portrush last summer.

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