The Open Championship golf set to be postponed until September amid coronavirus

An emergency meeting between Royal and Ancient officials and counterparts at Royal St George’s, Kent, where the tournament is due to be staged from July 16-19, took place via conference calls last Tuesday.

And while no final decision had been made just yet, it seems most likely the Open will be delayed until late summer for now – rather than being completely cancelled.

A source close to the crisis talks said: “The idea could be to wait to see if it can be played in September. Nobody wants to scrap it for 2020 if possible.”

The R&A could also choose to delay the event by a whole 12 months – like UEFA has with football’s Euro 2020 finals.

However, that brings its own unique issues for British golf as the Open is always held at a different venue from year to year.

Those courses are picked in advance. St Andrews is in line to host the 2021 Championships, which is also meant to be the 150th Open.

Then Royal Liverpool Golf Club is staging it the following year, before Scotland’s Royal Troon take the baton in 2023.

Everything hinges on how soon the global outbreak of coronavirus is contained – and whether mass sporting occasions and gatherings are permitted once more.

If they are, September could prove to be a huge month of Major golf – with the Masters, US Open and PGA Open likely to be played during that period.

For now, though, everything is on hold, including putting up the temporary stands around St George’s.

That work was meant to start last week but was called off when England Golf ruled all courses in the country were closed following the ‘stay at home’ order from the government.

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