The three most important golf tournaments hosted by Australia, including the Australian Open, were canceled on Friday due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, an “unprecedented blow” to the sport in the country.
For the first time since 1945, the Men’s Open will not be organized.
It is an “unprecedented blow for Australian golf and its supporters,” said PGA Tour chief Gavin Kirkman, announcing the decision was taken after, he said, “several months of exhaustive consultations” .
Australia has closed its international borders to most travelers in order to ward off the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even some people traveling within the country, between different states and regions, risk being subject to mandatory two-week quarantines.
PGA Tour officials have considered toughening sanitary measures to maintain the tournament, before giving it up altogether.
The Australian Open and the PGA Championship were originally scheduled to be held in November and early December, in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively.
Both have been postponed in hopes they could be staged in February, during the austral summer, when the Women’s Australian Open was also scheduled.
But the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular the difficulties of bringing athletes and ensuring their health security, as well as that of spectators, have forced the organizers to give up.
“We plan to revive all three tournaments in the summer of 2012-2022,” said Gavin Kirkman.