Australia Cancels 2 Golf Opens Due to COVID-19-Related Restrictions

Australia has canceled both the men’s and women’s Australian Open golf tournaments because of CCP virus-related travel and quarantine restrictions.

The men’s tournament had been postponed to this year in late November at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, but it was rescheduled for a date in early 2022. The event had originally been postponed in 2020 due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

The women’s tournament, which was set to be on the 2022 Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, was planned in February at Kooyonga Golf Club in the Southern Australian city, Adelaide.

“The decision has not been made lightly but we believe it to be the right outcome under the current circumstances,” Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement published on Thursday, noting that ongoing travel restrictions meant holding the tournaments was not viable.

“The international element means shifting quarantine and travel restrictions wreak havoc on planning and, with our marquee players living abroad, the challenge is even greater,” he said. “The pressure and risk on host venues and organizers is also high—these are small businesses who have already faced huge disruption due to the pandemic.”

NTD Photo
Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland speaks during a Cricket Australia announcement at the Victorian Cricket and Community Centre in Melbourne, Australia, on June 6, 2018. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Australia’s governing body for the sport confirmed that it started planning for a return of the two Open events in the 2022–2023 summer of golf.

The 2022 men’s Australian Open is set to be held at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne in November–December of next year, before returning to The Australian in 2023.

“We’re thankful to The Australian, which continues to be a loyal supporter of our men’s event,” said Therese Magdulski, the general manager of operations and events at Golf Australia. “We are also grateful for the support of Kooyonga Golf Club in our preparations to date for the women’s event.”

The Australian PGA Championship is scheduled to be played from Jan. 13–16 at Royal Queensland, likely with few international players.

Sutherland said it is “disappointing” that the Australian Opens are canceled for the second year in a row due to the CCP virus, adding that event organizers will “continue to work together to deliver an exciting schedule of local tournaments across the summer.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.