Golf Australia announced today that Australia’s national Open golf championships will be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
In the case of the Men’s Australian Open which is usually played in late November or early December, this will be the second successive year the event will be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2022 Women’s Australian Open was slated to be played at Adelaide’s Kooyonga Golf Club in February but has also been cancelled.
The hole in Australia’s sporting calendar is a big blow for up and coming Australian golfers hoping to not only get a spot in the field at our national championship but put themselves in with a chance to step onto the world stage.
The top-3 players in the Men’s Australian Open, for example, earm themselves a spot in the field at The Open Championship.
“The decision has not been made lightly but we believe it to be the right outcome under the current circumstances,” said James Sutherland, the Golf Australia Chief Executive.
“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.
“The pressure and risk on host venues and organisers is also high – these are small businesses who have already faced huge disruption due to the pandemic.”
Golf Australia’s General Manager Events and Operations, Therese Magdulski, said it became increasingly apparent as the tournament dates loomed that it would not be possible to run them because of the restrictions in place.
Magdulski added that public health concerns and continued uncertainty over travel also played their part as the virus continues to flare around Australia.
“When we decided back in June that we’d try to get these tournaments to run again, we weren’t even dealing with the Delta variant,” she said.
“Everything’s changed since then, and it can change again. In the end these are incredibly hard decisions and it’s terribly disappointing for everyone in the industry, but we’ve tried hard to make it happen, and it has not come together as we’d like.
“These are marquee events on the golf calendar, and we want to make sure when we bring them to life, they are the best they can be for all involved.”