The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (The R&A) have confirmed that this year’s Open has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The cancellation of The Open, due to be played at Sandwich’s Royal St George’s, marks the first major to be scrapped for 2020.
The Masters and the PGA Championship remain hopeful of being rescheduled, while US Open organisers are ambitious aiming to play in June.
St George’s will now host the 2021 Open from 11-18 July, while with the Old Course at St Andrews now hosting the 150th Open in 2022 from 10-17 July.
It’s the first time that golf’s original championship has been cancelled since World War Two. The Open was first played in 1860.
“The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read. “The Championship will next be played at Royal St George’s in 2021.
“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.”
Irishman Shane Lowry won last year’s Open played at Portrush in Northern Ireland.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale.
“We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with.
“In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.”