(Reuters) – The 149th Open Championship scheduled for Royal St George’s from July 16-19 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, golf’s governing body the R&A announced on Monday.
“The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current Covid-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement here “The Championship will next be played at Royal St George’s in 2021.”
The Open was last held on the course in Kent on England’s south-east coast in 2011 when Darren Clarke claimed victory.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said the decision had been made with a “heavy heart”.
“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly,” he said.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.”
It is the first time since 1945 that the British Open will miss a year.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry is the current champion.
Reporting by Martin Herman in London and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris