The Australian Open will not be played in 2020 but there are still hopes the Kingston Heath scheduled event can be played sometime in the new year.
Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse remains very hopeful that the national championship, the fifth oldest in professional golf, will still be played this summer.
“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,” Brookhouse said.
“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 105th edition of the Australian Open was to have been held in November, with multiple dates having been on the table. But Brookhouse said public health considerations had been the main reason behind making the decision to postpone.
“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.”
The decision means the Australian All Abilities Championship, which features the top 12 players on the World Rankings for Golfers with a Disability, will also be delayed as the tournament is played as part of the Australian Open field.
Brookhouse said Golf Australia and its event partner, Sportfive, would continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when any additional information is available.