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British Open the biggest cancellation yet due to COVID-19
- R&A photo
- R&A photo

The British Open, the world's oldest major championship, has been cancelled for 2020. It is the biggest cancellation yet due to the coronavirus (COVID_19) pandemic.

The championship was first played in 1860 and has been played 148 times with few interruptions. The last time The Open was cancelled was during World War II.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, released the following statement:

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 this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. 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. In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.

Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding. At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe. We are committed to supporting our wider community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.


With the British Open off of the schedule, three majors remain scheduled for 2020, all having moved off of their original dates. The PGA Championship has moved to August, the U.S. Open to September and the Masters to November.

The 149th British Open will be played at Royal St. George's Golf Club, July 15-18, 2021.

ABOUT THE British Open

The most coveted trophy in the game and one of the most iconic in all of sport: more commonly referred to as the Claret Jug. Within minutes of winning the British Open, the "Champion Golfer of the World" gets his name engraved on that cup, and a place in golfing history.

Amateurs have played an important role in the tournament over the years, with players like Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and more recently Alfie Plant stepping into the international limelight with their golfing performances.

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