Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Open Championship cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic

Co Offaly's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the 148th Open at Royal Portrush Credit: INPHO

The Open Championship has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event was due to take place at Royal St George's in Kent from July 12-19.

Ireland's Shane Lowry had been due to defend the title he won at Royal Portrush last summer.

This is the first time since the Second World War that golf’s original Championship, first played in 1860, has been cancelled.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

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

– R&A chief executive, Martin Slumbers

In a statement, the R&A continued and said: "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."

“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.

“Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding. At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe.

"We are committed to supporting our wider community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”

The R&A’s remaining professional and amateur championships scheduled this year are under review and updates will be given on any further changes.