Australia cancels men’s and women’s Open tournaments due to COVID-19

MELBOURNE — Australia has canceled its men’s and women’s Open tournaments in a hammer blow for the struggling domestic game as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and travel restrictions continue to bite.

Organizers had planned a late-January, early-February window for the men’s Australian Open in Sydney after its original November schedule proved untenable.

But Golf Australia boss James Sutherland said enduring travel curbs and the country’s mandatory 14-day quarantine had left organizers with no choice, but to cancel the flagship event for a second year in a row.

The women’s Australian Open, a stop on the elite Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, had been scheduled for February in Adelaide.

Australia’s borders are effectively shut and unlikely to open to non-residents until 2022, while the two-week isolation is putting off the nation’s top players from coming home from the US and European tours to support the domestic game. — Reuters