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A new golf schedule for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic will mean three of golf’s majors will be moved to late summer and autumn, while The Open has been cancelled.
The Open will not be played, while the Masters, US PGA Championship and US Open have issued new dates for 2020. The Ryder Cup remains in its scheduled position of September 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
The global coronavirus pandemic resulted in all worldwide professional golf Tours being suspended, with events in both Europe and the US being postponed or cancelled.
The 149th Open Championship has been cancelled – the first time golf’s oldest major has been cancelled since the 1940-45 tournaments, which were not played due to World War Two.
It was originally scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, Kent. The Open will still be played there, but the date will now be July 11-18, 2021.
The R&A will keep the 150th Open at St Andrews in Scotland as was intended. But that will move from 2021 to July 10-17, 2022. Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon, due to host the Opens of 2022 and 2023 respectively, are likely slip back a year.
The Masters was previously scheduled for April 6-12 and was postponed on March 13. It will now move to the week of November 12-15. It will be the first Masters not held in April since 1934.
It’s an historic shift as it’s usually the first major of the year, but will now be the last.
Augusta National said it intends to invite those professionals and amateurs who would have qualified for the tournament if it had been played on its original April date.
This means it will be played just a week before the US hosts Europe in the Ryder Cup.
However, this could change again. US President Donald Trump predicted spectator sport would start again in August or September in the US – but a word of caution came from California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, who said: “We have to be careful not to over-promise.”
The Ryder Cup remains on schedule for September 25-27 at Whistling Straits. It will be played just a week after the US Open.
It appears likely that a new qualifying system for players to make each team will have to be implemented if the Ryder Cup goes ahead as planned.
The PGA Tour has announced plans to complete its regular season on Monday, September 7. The Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season on the PGA Tour, has been delayed by one week because of the new dates for the PGA Championship and will now be played August 13-16.
The three events which make up the FedExCup Play-offs are now scheduled to take place on successive weekends. They will conclude with the Tour Championship on September 7.
The Tour said it will try to fit other events into the dates made available due to others being cancelled, including The Open and the Tokyo Olympics.
The Tour said it will make further announcements about its tournament schedule in the coming weeks. It has been suggested that the Tour may try to return to regular competition in June, with the Memorial Tournament, but without spectators present.
The European Tour said it is working on new dates for tournaments in 2020, and news on those dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
The flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth from September 10-13 is supposed to be the final event of Ryder Cup qualifying. But with the FedEx Cup play-offs now on on one side of that date, and the US Open and Ryder Cup on the other, it remains to be seen how the field will be affected.
The Tour and Ladies European Tour announced on Monday that the inaugural Scandinavian Mixed event had been cancelled.
The Trophée Hassan II in Morocco and the Lalla Meryem Cup on the Ladies European Tour, which were scheduled from June 4-7, have been postponed and are looking to be rescheduled.
The Olympic tournament set for July in Tokyo was cancelled in March. The tournament was due to take place from July 30 to August 2 in Saitama at Kasumigaseki Country Club, with the women’s tournament taking place a week later at the same venue.
The Tokyo Olympic Games will now start on July 23, 2021 and run to August 8.
The LPGA Tour has moved two of its five majors. The ANA Inspiration has been pushed back to September 10-13 at Mission Hills, California, and the US Women’s Open moves to December 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Texas.
Of the three other majors, The Evian Championship in France has been moved from July to August 6-9, while the Women’s PGA Championship in Pennsylvania (June 25-28), and Women’s British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland (August 20-23) are still going ahead as scheduled.