The Tour Events That Have Been Postponed or Cancelled
YOU may have read that the Bundesliga, Germany’s equivalent of our Premier League, is looking to resume action. Players are now back in full training and games will be played behind closed doors, which seems to go against everything that live sport stands for - it is all about atmosphere and passion. How can any fixture attended by only players, substitutes, officials and journalists generate any kind of passion or atmosphere?
There has also been some talk of professional golf resuming without fans. Think of The Masters without fans roaring around the course, telling players that somebody has played an astonishing shot, holed an eagle putt. Or the groans that indicate somebody has come to grief. It is a non-starter, surely.
The R&A finally gave in to the inevitable and cancelled this year’s Open at Royal St George’s. It will now be played in 2021. But The Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship have been rescheduled, and there are still hopes that they Ryder Cup can go ahead.
The Senior Open at Sunningdale, scheduled for July 23-26, is the latest even to be postponed, with the R&A hoping to play the PGA Tour Champions major later in the year if possible.
This might be a good time to have a look at the events we have already lost.
On the European Tour the following tournaments have been cancelled and will not now be played in 2020: WGS-Dell Technologies Matchplay, GolfSixes, Trophee Hassan, Scandinavian Mixed and Czech Masters. And the following have been postponed, indicating that there is a hope that they can be shoehorned in at some point: Kenya Open, Indian Open, Maybank Championship, China Open. Andalucia Masters, Made in Denmark and the Irish Open.
The next regular European Tour event still on the schedule is the BMW International Open in Germany, which is due to begin on June 25, but nobody is holding their breath.
On the PGA Tour there are no postponements. We have lost The Players, Valspar, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, Valero Texas Open, RBC Heritage, Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Wells Fargo Championship and AT&T Byron Nelson.
The LPGA has so far lost five events, with a further three cancelled and the ANA Inspiration and US Women’s Open rescheduled, while the LET has lost one tournament and cancelled another.
For everybody involved in these tours these are incredibly difficult times, not knowing when they will be back in action. And spare a thought for the caddies who only earn when their employers are earning prize money. How do top players keep their games in shape when they cannot get out and hit golf balls on a course or a driving range?
You can be sure that the likes of Brooks Koepka will be pumping plenty of iron to keep himself occupied. Most top players have gyms at home and will be determined to keep themselves fit while locked up. But there is nothing like competition. When play resumes, how long will it take before they recapture their best form? Not terribly long, one suspects.
But will spectators be as keen to flock through the gates to watch the action when it finally does resume? Or will there be a hangover, with fans reluctant to mix with complete strangers? Just think for a moment about, say, the Waste Phoenix Management Open, that attracts around 700,000 beer-swilling spectators over the course of a rowdy and raucous week. Will that tournament, and others like it, ever be the same again?
Will we ever again feel relaxed about mixing with complete strangers?
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