Coronavirus claims more European Tour events

The PGA Tour is hoping to be back on course in mid-June, yet on the other side of the Atlantic, the European Tour was busy removing more tournaments from its schedule including the BMW International Open and Open de France, while postponing the Scottish Open.

“The decision to cancel the BMW International Open, which has been a cornerstone of the European Tour calendar for three decades, and the Open de France, one of our most historic national Opens, was made in consultation with our long-term partner BMW and the French Golf Federation respectively with public health and well-being the absolute priority for all of us,” said European Tour CEO Keith Pelley.

Keith Pelley Keith Pelley (Credit: European Tour)

“Both Germany and France have been significantly impacted by Coronavirus, and our thoughts go out to everyone affected in both countries, as well as elsewhere around the world.”

The news from Europe was not all bad with Pelley claiming the European Tour can still deliver a schedule at some point during the season.

Tournaments have now been either postponed or cancelled until the end of July, but Pelley hinted that he is hopeful things can get up and running again with the British Masters.

“My primary message is actually one of optimism because I am genuinely hopeful that from now on the information I send in relation to our 2020 schedule will be positive,” said Pelley.

“We cannot emphatically commit to a start date because, as I have said many times, we will not resume until it is safe, and we are permitted to do so.”

“We now have 14 weeks with no tournaments, but those three and a half months are also the time where the global situation may well begin to show signs of improvement.”

“This window also gives us the opportunity to continue working behind the scenes on a variety of scheduling options which would allow us to provide you with a busy calendar of golf to enjoy when we do resume.”

Pelley’s comments come off his reported earlier remarks in memos that were, according to British paper The Daily Telegraph, sent to tour members warning that there could be plenty of changes in the immediate future for the tour including reduced purses, less tournament infrastructure and a condensed schedule that could include multiple tournaments in the same week.

So far to date seven tournaments, including the British Open, have been cancelled and the US Open has moved to Sept. 17-20, the same week as the KLM Open in the Netherlands.

The Masters has been postponed until Nov. 12-15, the same date as the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, one of Europe’s premier Rolex Series events.