Golf Australia postpones 2020 Australian Open

Golf Australia has announced the postponement of the 2020 Australian Open due to issues arising from COVID-19 and clashes with rescheduled events on the US PGA Tour.

At this stage, Golf Australia are still looking towards staging the tournament in early summer 2021, however that will rely heavily on how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves in the latter half of the year.

Matt Jones Matt Jones won his second Australian Open title in 2019 (Credit: Anthony Powter)

“These are very challenging times for all Australians and the uncertainty the global pandemic has caused makes it very difficult to be definitive in relation to future dates at this time,” said Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse.

“We will continue our positive ongoing discussions with our major stakeholders which include the Victorian Government, our corporate partners, the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and other international tours about potential dates.”

“However, it must be noted that there are many unknowns at the moment, which is problematic.”

The Australian Open was to have been held in November, however Brookhouse said that public health considerations had been the driving force behind making the decision to postpone the 105-year-old tournament.

“Then, when you consider the rescheduled major championships, particularly the Masters from 12-15 November, assembling the customary world-class field was also becoming increasingly difficult,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it is not a simple matter of whether or not we could co-ordinate any international stars to visit.”

“The uncertainty of the quarantine requirements for any players coming from outside Australia needed to be considered. These requirements would undoubtedly have an impact on our homegrown heroes before they would be able to consider playing, too,” he said.

“With all that in mind, we would like to think we could still play the Australian Open this summer and will work with the host, Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club, to find a date suitable for all.

“However it may have to be in the January-March 2021 window with so many variables still to play out.”

Brookhouse said Golf Australia will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when any additional information is available.

No word has been released yet about the future of this year’s PGA Championship, which is set to be played at Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane in early December.