The British Open is canceled. The Masters has been postponed until two weeks before Thanksgiving. The PGA Championship has been temporarily moved back to August, to be followed by golf’s U.S. Open in September.
And, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, no one can say for sure whether those three stateside major championships will even take place this year.
With all this uncertainty, golf — like everything else in the sports world — has become a scramble.
“We hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport,” Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement Monday announcing the rescheduled dates of Nov. 12-15. “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials.”
Statement from Chairman Ridley:— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 6, 2020
"We have identified Nov 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters. We hope the anticipation of staging the Tournament brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and those who love the game."
Full details at https://t.co/rSr9YUhCX2 pic.twitter.com/1lVmbq8jzJ
The Masters originally was scheduled to take place this week. That was scrapped because of the health crisis, even with conjecture that the legendary tournament might take place without spectators, or “patrons” as they’re called at Augusta.
For the first time since 1945, the British Open has been canceled. The tournament was scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in England. That venue will play host to the tournament July 15-18 in 2021, meaning the 150th Open will take place at St. Andrews in Scotland the following year.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing the Open this year, but it’s not going to be possible,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said.
It is with a heavy heart that we have to cancel The Open for the first time since WWII. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.— The Open (@TheOpen) April 6, 2020
Statement: https://t.co/brJfuOZSFP pic.twitter.com/iizOupOk4m
In more schedule shuffling, the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco was moved from May to Aug. 6-9, and the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in New York was bumped from June to Sept. 17-20.
The PGA reconfirmed the Ryder Cup remained as originally scheduled — Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.
“With our country going through extremely difficult times, it will be an honor for all of us at the PGA of America to hopefully help turn a page in August with the PGA Championship and September with the Ryder Cup,” said Seth Waugh, chief executive of the PGA of America.
The PGA Tour has worked with its host organizations and title sponsors to move the regular season finale — the Wyndham Championship — and all three FedEx Cup playoffs events one week later, starting the week of Aug. 10 and concluding with a finish on Sept. 7, Labor Day, for the Tour Championship.
Nine PGA Tour events have been canceled, with the soonest still on the schedule being the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth on May 21-24.
“We appreciate the open and collaborative approach taken by each of our tournaments, title sponsors and media partners to get us to this solution,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “It’s a complex situation, and we want to balance the commitments to our various partners with playing opportunities for our members — while providing compelling competition to our fans — but all of that must be done while navigating the unprecedented global crisis that is impacting every single one of us.”