St Andrews will still host 150th Open Championship after this year's event at Royal St George is cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
Get the Northern Scot sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
THE 150th Open Championship will still take place in Scotland, the home of golf, despite the cancellation of this year's tournament.
The R&A announced today that Britain's golf major, which was scheduled to take place at Royal St George in July, has been cancelled due tom the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, the 149th Open Championship will be contested at the Kent course next year.
That means the milestone 150th staging of the tournament will still be at St Andrews, moving to 2022.
It will be the first year that no British Open has taken place in 75 years.
An R&A spokesperson said the decision to cancel was based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and the R&A’s advisers.
Tickets and hospitality packages already bought for this summer's competition will be transferred across to next year, or full refunds will be given.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “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.”
The R&A’s remaining professional and amateur championships scheduled this year are under review and updates will be given on any further changes.