The Australian Open golf championship won’t be staged this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic; however, organizers still hope it can be played this summer.
The 105th Australian Open – the fifth-oldest national championship in professional golf – was scheduled to be hosted at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath course in November of last year.
According to Golf Australia, health concerns and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have caused a postponement and the Australian Open may now be hosted there sometime between January and March of next year.
While health concerns were the major reason for the decision, Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse admitted that there was also other concerns, such as they wouldn’t be able to attract a top-line field with the global golf schedule pushed back due to its shutdown.
Brookhouse said that when you consider the re-planned major championships, especially the Masters from 12-15 November, assembling the customary international field was also becoming more and more difficult. Unluckily, it is not a simple matter of whether they could co-ordinate any international stars to attend the event. The uncertainty of the quarantine requirements for any player who comes from outside Australia is also needed to be considered.
These requirements would certainly have an impact on their homegrown heroes before they would be able to consider playing. With all that in mind, Golf Australia would like to think they could still play the Open this summer and will discuss with the host, Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club, to find a suitable date for all.
However, according to Brookhouse, it may have to be held sometime between January and March 2021 with a lot of variables still to play out.
The decision means that the Australian All Abilities Championship, featuring the top 12 players on the World Rankings for Golfers with a Disability, will also be postponed since it is played as part of the Australian Open field.