Scottish Open in serious doubt
Open cancellation could be bad news for Scots golf fans
Venue: The Renaissance Club (pic: SNS Group)
Scottish golf fans are bracing themselves for bad news after the R&A’s decision to abandon plans to stage The Open at Royal St George’s in July.
In the wake of the cancellation, it seems certain that the European Tour will rule that this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open cannot go ahead as planned.
The Renaissance Club in East Lothian is due to host the event for the second year running from 9-12 July – the week before the Open – followed by the Ladies Scottish Open but could be denied that opportunity amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Tour has already halted all ticket sales for the tournament which was won by Austrian Bernd Weisberger last summer.
Following the postponements of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco (4-7 June) and the Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm (11-14 June), it seems only a matter of time before the Tour makes similar calls regarding its next few events.
The BMW International Open (25-28 June) in Munich and the French Open (2-5 July) in Paris are due to take place before the Tour heads to the east coast of Scotland.
The cancellation of this year’s Open means the 150th Open Championship will be played at St Andrews in 2022.
Shane Lowry: was due to defend open title
Irishman Shane Lowry was due to defend his title at the 149th staging of the event at Sandwich from 16-19 July but will have to wait another 12 months to tee it up after the call-off due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The new dates have been confirmed as July 15-18, 2021.
The famous Fife links was due to host the historic championship next year but will now be the venue from 14-17 July, 2022.
According to the The R&A, this year’s remaining professional and amateur championships are under review with chief executive Martin Slumbers saying: “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. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing the Open this year but it is not going to be possible.
“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.”
Authorities still hope to stage the other Major championships later this year.
The USPGA is set for August in San Francisco, the US Open has been switched from June to September at Winged Foot, New York – the week before the Ryder Cup – with The Masters now pencilled in for Augusta National in November.