The Australian Open in 2021 and the Australian Open for Women in 2022 have been canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc with international travel plans.
Golf Australia on Thursday announced the tough decision and said it would start planning for the return of the two Opens in the 2022-23 golf summer.
This is the second consecutive year that Australia’s flagship golf tournament has been canceled due to coronavirus.
This year’s edition of the men’s tournament – which was won by Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Peter Thomson and Greg Norman – was first scheduled for 25-28 November at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney, then postponed until early 2022.
The Australian Open for Women was held in February 2022 for the Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide.
“The decision was not taken lightly, but we believe it is the right outcome under the current circumstances,” said James Sutherland, head of Golf Australia.
‘The international element means that shifting quarantine and travel restrictions is wreaking havoc on planning, and the challenge is even greater when our players live abroad.
“The pressure and risk on host venues and organizers is also great – these are small businesses that have already experienced major disruption due to the pandemic.”
Therese Magdulski, general manager of Golf Australia, said it was becoming increasingly clear as the tournament dates showed that it would not be possible to manage it due to the restrictions.
Magdulski added that public health concerns and continued travel uncertainty also played a role, while the virus continued to flare up in Australia.
“When we decided in June that we were trying to get these tournaments going again, we did not even have to deal with the Delta variant,” she said.
“Everything has changed since then, and it can change again.
“In the end, it’s incredibly difficult decisions and it’s very disappointing for everyone in the industry, but we tried hard to make it happen, and it did not come together the way we want it to.”
The Australian PGA Championship is now the headline of the Australasia Tour.
It will be played from 13-16 January in Royal Queensland.
The summer schedule includes the PGA Championship, three Webex Players Series events and a series of state PGA Championships and state openings.
“While it is disappointing to lose these tournaments for the second consecutive year, we will continue to work together to deliver an exciting schedule of local tournaments during the summer,” Sutherland said.