- Multiple sources are reporting that the 2020 British Open has been cancelled.
- The tournament was scheduled to start on July 16 at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in England.
- The last time the British Open was cancelled was in 1945 due to WW II.
UPDATE: The R&A is denying that any decision has been reached on the British Open and that they’re still ‘considering their options’. Realistically, they’ve got two: cancel the tournament and collect their insurance payout or postpone the event until September or October.
Multiple sources are reporting that the 2020 British Open golf tournament will be cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As recently as two weeks ago, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews insisted that the event would go on as planned. With the Masters, PGA Championship and US Open already postponed it was the only one of golf’s ‘Grand Slam’ that was still standing. Organizers are expected to make a formal announcement of the cancellation on Thursday. It is the second major sports event in the UK to be cancelled this week–the venerable Wimbledon tennis tournament announced the cancellation of their 2020 event earlier on Wednesday. Some UK media sources have suggested that the British Open organizers were waiting to see what would happen with Wimbledon and that when it was cancelled it was apparent that the event could not go on as planned.
The British Open was set to begin on July 16 at Royal St. George’s Golf Club. It was to be the 15th Open held at the course and the first since 2011. The 2021 British Open is scheduled for the Old Course at St. Andrews and the expectation is that will not change. According to reports in the golf media, the reason that the British Open was cancelled and not postponed like the Masters and PGA Championship is due to insurance issues. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) has a policy that protects the event against cancellation due to circumstances beyond the organizers’ control. A source told Golf Digest that the British Open ‘is the most insured of all of the tournaments’ with complete coverage against cancellation. The source also suggested that he didn’t see any golf being played ‘before August’. That timeframe is also suggested by a Golf.com article speculating on when the postponed majors would be contested.
These have been very tough times for golf betting enthusiasts. The PGA was initially planning to continue playing without fans and actually got in one round of the Players Championship last month. They quickly reversed course and suspended operations, cancelling all future events through the AT&T Byron Nelson which would have concluded on May 10. Based on the current state of the coronavirus pandemic it is difficult to see the PGA not extending their shutdown. The LPGA has also suspended operations for the foreseeable future. With all tours conducted under the auspices of the PGA shut down some sportsbooks have been offering odds on lower profile tour events.
Futures betting on the 2020 British Open had Rory McIlroy as a +750 favorite with Jon Rahm (+950), Brooks Koepka (+1200), Dustin Johnson (+1250) and Tiger Woods (+1500) right behind. McIlroy was a +220 choice to finish in the top five ahead of Rahm (+235), Johnson (+300), Koepka (+325) and Woods (+375). The same five players are early market favorites to win the 2020 US Open with McIlroy at +1000 followed by Johnson (+1200), Koepka (+1400), Rahm (+1600) and Woods (+1800).