The 2020 Open Championship, the last major men's golf event of the year, likely will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Golf Digest reported Wednesday night.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, which puts on the event, could make the announcement as soon as Thursday, according to the report. Per Golf Digest, the RA had been waiting to take a cue from Wimbledon organizers, who announced Wednesday that the tennis major scheduled for June 29-July 12 was canceled.
The Open Championship is slated to take place July 16-19 at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England.
The last time The Open Championship wasn't held was during World War II, when the tournament was called off from 1940-45. The event, which was founded in 1860, also was shut down from 1915-19 due to first World War.
A source told Golf Digest that an early decision on canceling The Open could be prompted by the need to make an insurance claim by a specific date.
"The RA is the most (insured) of all the tournaments," the source told Golf Digest. "They have complete cancellation insurance. I just don't see any golf (being played) before August."
Should the 2020 Open be canceled, Royal St. George's probably will have to wait its turn to get another shot at hosting the event, Golf Digest reported. The sites of the next three Open Championships have already been announced: the Old Course at St. Andrews in 2021, Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 2022 and Royal Troon Golf Club in 2023.
The first two major tournaments of the 2020 golf season, The Masters (scheduled for April 9-12 in Augusta, Ga.) and the PGA Championship (scheduled for May 14-17 in San Francisco), previously were postponed because of the pandemic. No makeup dates have been announced.
The U.S. Open, scheduled for June 18-21 in Mamaroneck, N.Y., reportedly will be postponed, too. The host course, Winged Foot, has been shuttered with New York one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19.
The PGA Tour shut down March 13, following the first round of the Players Championship. Currently, all tournament scheduled to be held through mid-May have been postponed or canceled.
The RA did make several postponements official on Wednesday, including an announcement in tandem with the U.S. Golf Association that the Curtis Cup has been pushed back from June 2020 to the summer of 2021. The competition is contested between teams of amateur golfers from the United States and Great Britain/Ireland.
The upcoming Curtis Cup was due to be held at Conwy Golf Club in Wales.
The British Amateur (scheduled for June 15-20 at Royal Birkdale) and the British Women's Amateur (scheduled for June 23-27 at Kilmarnock) tentatively have been pushed back to August.
Ireland's Shane Lowry won last year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
--Field Level Media