The Grand Slam landscape has been dramatically uprooted by the coronavirus pandemic with golf’s major championship bodies announcing a schedule makeover on Monday.
The Open Championship became the first major since 1945 to be canceled with the R&A announcing plans to play the 149th championship at Royal St. George’s next year and the 150th edition at St. Andrews in 2022.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement.
Although the schedule is still very much a work in progress officials from Augusta National, the USGA and the PGA of America announced in a joint statement on Monday that the Masters will be played Nov. 12-15; the PGA Championship will be held Aug. 6-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, where it was originally scheduled to be played; and the U.S. Open will be relocated to Sept. 18-21 and the championship will remain at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The New York area has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States and some have suggested an alternative venue might be necessary but the USGA remains committed to Winged Foot.
“We are hopeful that postponing the championship will offer us the opportunity to mitigate health and safety issues while still providing us with the best opportunity to conduct the U.S. Open this year,” Mike Davis, the USGA’s CEO, said in a statement.
The timing of the U.S. Open is particularly noteworthy as it will be played the week before the Ryder Cup is scheduled to be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
This will also be the first time the Masters will be played outside of April since the tournament was first held in 1934 in late March.
In a statement, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said, “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials. Provided that occurs and we can conduct the 2020 Masters, we intend to invite those professionals and amateurs who would have qualified for our original April date and welcome all existing ticket holders.”