Open Championship canceled for fourth time in 150-year history due to coronavirus

April 6, 2020

Golf will have at least one fewer major championship in 2020. The R&A announced Monday it canceled the 149th Open Championship due to ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement makes the Open the first major championship canceled outright as a result of the virus, coming on the same day golf’s other governing bodies announced brand-new schedules for the PGA Tour season, the remaining majors and the Ryder Cup.

The tournament was scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in Kent, England. The R&A elected to delay the Open Championship rota by a year, meaning Royal St. George’s will host the Open in July of 2021. St. Andrews, which was scheduled to host the 150th Open Championship in 2021 (with a planned sesquicentennial celebration at the “home of golf”), will now host the event in 2022.

The announcement marks just the fourth time in Open Championship history that the event has been canceled. The first gap came in 1871, when organizers failed to produce a trophy after Tom Morris Jr. won the Challenge Belt outright, leading to the creation of the Claret Jug. Then, from 1915-19 and 1940-45, the World Wars forced more than a decade of Open Championship cancelations. Now, 2020 joins that trio — the coronavirus pandemic among the shortlist of historic events to cancel the championship since its inception in 1860.

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