Golf Australia cancels men's and women's Opens amid Covid-19 pandemic

Golf Australia cancels men's and women's Opens amid Covid-19 pandemic

The men’s Australian Open golf tournament and Australian Women’s Open scheduled for next year have been cancelled because of Covid-19-related travel and quarantine restrictions.

“The decision has not been made lightly but we believe it to be the right outcome under the current circumstances,” Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement released on Thursday.

The men’s tournament was originally scheduled for November 25-28 at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney but had already been rescheduled for a date in early 2022. It was also not held in 2020 due to the pandemic. Australian Matt Jones was the last winner in 2019 when it was also played at The Australian.

The Women’s Australian Open, which was set be on the 2022 LPGA Tour, was scheduled for February at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide, although an actual date had not been determined. Inbee Park won the 2020 tournament at Royal Adelaide and the 2021 version was canceled.

Golf Australia cancels men's and women's Opens amid Covid-19 pandemic

Inbee Park hits from a sand trap onto the 14th green in the second round of the Cognizant Founders Cup LPGA golf tournament, in West Caldwell. Photo / AP

Sutherland said ongoing travel restrictions meant holding the tournaments was not viable.

“The international element means shifting quarantine and travel restrictions wreak havoc on planning and, with our marquee players living abroad, the challenge is even greater,” Sutherland said. “The pressure and risk on host venues and organisers is also high — these are small businesses who have already faced huge disruption due to the pandemic.”

The 2022 men’s Australian Open is scheduled to be held at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne in November-December of next year, before returning to The Australian in 2023.

The Australian PGA Championship is scheduled to be played from January 13-16 at Royal Queensland, likely with few international players.

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