words by BGB Editorial Team
BANGKOK, Thailand: In what now seems like a daily occurrence, golfing fans around the world are once again waking up to the news of cancellations and postponements on all of the major professional tours due to that damn Coronavirus.
Yesterday it was the European Tour‘s turn to announce the suspension of ticket and sponsorship sales for the remaining events of the 2020 season, with the rather forlorn ‘until further notice’ drop off line the only small and fragile ray of hope left for us golf fanatics – already starved of our fix – to hold on to.
Today another dagger into the heart, with the PGA Tour decision to add four additional events to the four already cancelled following the premature abandonment of The PLAYERS Championship.
The most notable of the ever lengthening list is the second Major of the calendar, The PGA Championship, due to be held May 14-17, to an unspecified date later in the year.
Others falling victim are: RBC Heritage (April 13-19); Zurich Classic of New Orleans (April 20-26); Wells Fargo Championship (April 27-May 3); and AT&T Byron Nelson (May 4-10).
At this stage the US Open remains on the calendar, but if scientific forecasts on the spread of this pandemic are to be believed, then it has to be a huge doubt.
“The USGA is currently holding the dates for the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club as scheduled (June 18-21) but will, as all of us are, continue to monitor the developing situation and follow recommendations by government authorities,” a PGA Tour official said.
Adding: “As we receive more clarity in the coming weeks, the TOUR will be working with our tournament organizations and title sponsors, in collaboration with golf’s governing bodies, to build a PGA TOUR schedule for 2020 that ensures the health and safety for all associated with our sport and a meaningful conclusion to the season.”
Closer to home, the Asian Tour chief Cho Minn Thant went on record Wednesday to announce that the Tour will only kick back into action once guarantees for the safety of players and fans are in place.
“We will only resume staging tournaments when it is deemed safe to do so in the most appropriate manner to ensure the security and safety of the golfing community, tournament stakeholders, players, officials, the hosting country, volunteers and fans,” stressed a stressed-out Thant, adding that the Tour will endevour to complete this year’s season by extending into the calendar year 2021.
It’s a depressing time for golf fans with little prospect of a quick return to TV golf, especially at a time when most of us will be faced with an extended period on the sofa, in isolation with no action to watch!
Oh well, best get the sticks out and head out onto the links while we still can! Stay safe (and well)!