Golf: Australian Open cancelled for the first time since World War II

The Australian Open is Australia's oldest and most prestigious Golf tournament. The 105th edition has been cancelled due to the pandemic situation.

Matt Jones, winner of the 2019 Australian Open

The Australian Open golf tournament has been cancelled and will not be a part of the sporting calendar for the first time since the second World War. Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia cancelled all of their top events on Friday citing the reason of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Had the tournament taken place this year it would’ve been the 105th edition of the country’s oldest and most prestigious tournament. The tournament takes place at Melbourne’s Kingston Health Golf Club. The tournament had already been postponed from its usual slot in November.

With Melbourne still in lockdown and access and travel to Australia still difficult for foreigners, the governing bodies decided to cancel both men and women’s Opens as well as the Australian PGA Championship.

‘Real blow for Australian golf and its fans’ – PGA

PGA Australia Chief Executive Gavin Kirkman

Speaking about the decision to cancel the Australian open, PGA Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman said, “It’s unprecedented and a real blow for Australian golf and its fans We have collectively spent months in exhaustive consultation with all relevant authorities and our sanctioning partners to try to find a way to stage all three events safely. But even with multiple contingency plans, it has reached a point where decisions have to be made and this, regrettably, is the one we’ve had to take.”

The governing bodies said they considered a lot of measures to make sure the tournaments took place, including bringing players into a biosecure bubble and restricting crowds, but the options proved “unviable”.

“The events rely on significant support from players and tours around the world, so given current quarantine restrictions, we believe the field strength of all three events would be severely compromised,” said Golf Australia’s new chief executive James Sutherland.

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