The Australian Open’s organizers have confirmed that the Grand Slam tournament postponed until next year. The country’s oldest and most prestigious golf event takes a pause due to the epidemic of the novel virus, SkyNews reported.
Amid COVID epidemic across the globe, Melbourne is also midway through a six-week lockdown as authorities battle a surge in COVID-19 disease. Taking into account the non-optimistic prognosis on the next waves of infection, Golf Australia had planned to stage the 105th edition at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club later this year but now looking at dates in early 2021, the governing body said.
The tournaments will start on Monday, 18 January 2021 and end on
Sunday, 31 January.
«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,» Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse said in a statement.
Thus, the AO organizers warn on the rescheduled major championships, particularly the US Masters from 12-15 November, assembling the customary world-class field was also becoming increasingly difficult.
Meantime, the 2020 tournament was to have been the first staged outside Sydney in 15 years. Coronacrisis has changed the sports industry a lot, and, apparently, those changes are irreversible, say the experts. The COVID epidemic just boosts the digitalization of any sports.
Commenting on the current changes, Brookhouse expressed a hope for the sooner recovering of both economic and sports industry. «We would like to think we could still play the Australian Open this summer and will work with Kingston Heath Golf Club to find a date suitable for all,» the statement reads.