The R&A have reached an agreement regarding the 149th staging of golf's oldest major

The 2020 Open Championship has been cancelled, the R&A have confirmed.

An R&A statement read: “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. This is the first time since the second world war that golf’s original Championship, first played in 1860, has been cancelled.”

It was due to take place at Royal St George’s from July 16-19, but the Kent club will still get to host the 149th edition of golf’s oldest major, with everything being pushed back a year.

The statement added: “The 149th Open will be played at Royal St George’s from July 11-18, 2021. The 150th Open will be played at St Andrews from July 10-17, 2022.”

There was nothing in the statement regarding Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon, due to host in 2022 and 2023 before the announcement, but presumably they will each be pushed back a year too.

Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive, added: “Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in the Open. We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.

“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.”

Did you know?

Since the Open was first played in 1860, it has been cancelled for just four reasons:

  1. 1871: No trophy available
  2. 1915-19: World War I
  3. 1940-45: World War II
  4. 2020: Covid-19 pandemic

If you’re wondering about why there was no trophy available in 1871, after winning his third straight Open the year before, Tom Morris Jr decided the belt, as it was then, was his to keep and refused to return it. As a result, no Championship was played that year.

The Open returned in 1872 and was won by – you guessed it – Young Tom.

Was it the right decision? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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