Open Championship to be canceled

Masters fan

Despite other golf majors preceding it now being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Open Championship is on the verge of being outright canceled, according to Golf Digest, which said late Wednesday that a decision could be announced by the R&A as early as Thursday.

It said it will provide a further update as available.

The fragmented nature of men's golf, with four separate bodies running the majors and the two leading tours being separate entities, contributes significantly to the "external factors" holding up a definitive decision.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews is expected to cancel The British Open as early as Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Golf Digest.

It is claimed the tournament at Winged Foot will not be played in June as planned, instead the hope is to host the US Open later in the year.

But it is hard to know when the separate bodies that run the Masters and US PGA will announce rescheduled dates for their already postponed majors.

The Travelers Championship remains scheduled for late June (25-28), but the coronavirus pandemic has put the entire PGA Tour schedule in a state of flux. Both events will be cancelled rather than postponed. The LPGA has also suspended operations.

Golf Digest reported that it is not expected that The Open would be staged at Royal St. George's next year, which would have created an issue for the R&A. Royal St. George's last held the Open Championship in 2011, when Darren Clarke overcame Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson to win by three strokes.

Just a day after the All England Club cancelled this year's Wimbledon Championship for the first time since World War II, the erroneous report speculated that The Open would follow a similar fate. The Old Course at St. Andrews is slated to host the Open in 2021, with Royal Liverpool on the docket for 2022 and Royal Troon in 2023.

There were more than 900,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide as of Wednesday night, according to The New York Times.

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