THE OPEN will be CANCELLED for the first time since the end of World War II due to the coronavirus pandemic, a report claims.
Golf Digest say the R&A, who organise golf's oldest major, were waiting for Wimbledon organisers to scrap the tennis before making a decision.
SW19 chiefs announced yesterday the tournament was off – not just postponed – and it looks like now the golf will follow suit.
The Open – which was to bring in around 220,000 fans – was due to be held at Royal St George's in Kent over four days from July 16.
It has been cancelled rather than postponed because organisers can collect an insurance premium if they canned it by a certain date, it has been claimed.
A source told Golf Digest: "The R&A is the most [insured] of all the tournaments. They have complete cancellation insurance. I just don’t see any golf [being played] before August."
This will be the third of golf's four majors this season to be scrapped.
The Masters, originally set for next week, has been postponed, along with next month's USPGA Championship.
June's US Open, to be held at Winged Foot in New York, has not yet been called off despite the city's struggle to contain the spread of Covid-19.
As it stands, The Open is not expected to be played at Royal St George's next year.
Doing so would have caused a major headache for organisers, who for years had been planning to hold the 150th playing of the event at St Andrews in 2021.
The Open is scheduled for the 'home of golf' next year, followed by Royal Liverpool in 2022 and Royal Troon in 2023.
Its cancellation means Ireland's Shane Lowry, who won at Royal Portush in Northern Ireland last year, will not get to defend his Claret Jug.
The Open was last cancelled in 1945 – the final year of World War II.
The PGA Tour has scrapped or postponed nine events – but two are still scheduled to take place at the end of next month.
And the European Tour has suspended ticket sales for the rest of the year with no golf planned before June at the very earliest.
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