British Open canceled for first time since WWII due to coronavirus

United States’ Jordan Spieth reacts after missing a putt on the 18th green in the final round at the British Open Golf Championship at the Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland, Monday, July 20, 2015.

David J. Phillip | AP

The 2020 British Open has been canceled due to coronavirus, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) announced on Monday. It’s the first time since World War II that the golf championship has been canceled.

The British Open is the oldest golf tournament. It’s one of the four majors, which also include the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and The Masters. 

“The Open was due to be played in Kent from 12-19 July but it has been necessary to cancel the Championship based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and The R&A’s advisers,” the R&A said in a statement. 

The R&A said tickets and hospitality packages for the 2020 championship be valid for use in 2021. People who don’t want to attend next year will receive a full refund.

“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open. We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart,” chief executive of The R&A Martin Slumbers said. “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.”

The Augusta National Golf Club announced on March 13 that The Masters, the PGA Tour’s first major event that was scheduled to start April 9, was being postponed to a later date.

The PGA Championship was postponed on March 25. It was originally scheduled to begin May 11. The U.S. Open golf championship is still scheduled to take start on June 18.

In March, the USGA told GolfChannel.com it continues to “monitor all available guidance and regulations from the CDC, WHO and other federal, state and local authorities to do what is in the best interests of the community for the health and safety of all those involved.”

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