Masters moves to November, BMW Championship at Olympia Fields is pushed back a week and British Open is canceled in a reworked 2020 golf schedule
The British Open will not be played this year for the first time since 1945, golf officials announced Monday as they tried to reconfigure a major championship schedule that would end with the Masters being played two weeks before Thanksgiving.
Still to be determined is when — or even if — golf can resume depending on the spread of COVID-19 that has shut down sports worldwide.
Confirming a report from last week, the R&A announced that the British Open, scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in England, will be pushed back until July 15-18, 2021, leaving the 150th Open for St. Andrews in 2022.
“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 Martin Slumbers said.
The Masters, which was supposed to start Thursday, was rescheduled for Nov. 12-15. That would follow the PGA Championship on Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco and the U.S. Open on Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The new PGA Championship dates push back the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoff events by one week, meaning new dates — Aug. 27-30 — for the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields.
The Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., would be played the week after the PGA, followed by the FedEx Cup run of the Northern Trust outside Boston, the BMW and the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which would end on Labor Day.
The Ryder Cup remains scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Golf’s major organizations have been trying to piece together a puzzle for the last three weeks, and each agreed to announce its schedule at the same time in a show of collaboration. Still missing is the starting line.
“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 Chairman Fred Ridley said. “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials.”
Ridley said every player who had received an invitation to play in the Masters in April will stay on the list, with more details to be sorted out later. He also said the Augusta National Women’s Amateur was canceled, and every player can keep her spot for next year provided she doesn’t turn pro.
Winged Foot just north of New York City is about 5 miles from a hot spot for the new coronavirus. Construction for the U.S. Open stopped two weeks ago as the USGA tried to determine its best course. For now, it’s to stay in New York with a September date.
The U.S. Senior Open at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Connecticut have been canceled.