Sports

The U.S. Open Hasn’t Been Canceled But It’s In Trouble

The U.S. Open, the third major championship on the golf calendar and obviously one of the biggest tournaments in the world, hasn’t yet fallen victim to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 2020 U.S. Open, set to be played at historic Winged Foot Golf Club, is still officially on the schedule but America’s national championship is definitely in trouble.

The Masters and PGA Championship have already been postponed

As it stands now, while normally the third major on the golf calendar, the U.S. Open would actually be the first major championship played in 2020.

On March 13, in the midst of the sports world completely shutting down, The Masters was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Set to be played from April 9-12, there have been plenty of rumors swirling that it may be moved to October although nothing has been confirmed at this time.

Just a few days later, the PGA Championship was postponed as well. Set to be played at Harding Park in San Francisco, a city that has been hit very hard by the coronavirus outbreak, the PGA of America announced that it was hoping to get the tournament played sometime this summer. The tournament was scheduled for May 14-17. As it is with The Masters, no new date has been officially confirmed.

Much like the state of California, the state of New York has been hit very hard with the COVID-19 outbreak and the U.S. Open is now in limbo, seeing as how the course that’s set to host the event is located there and has been completely shut down.

New York has shut down Winged Foot

Winged Foot Golf Club is set to host the 2020 U.S. Open from June 18-21 and as of right now, that’s still the plan. However, an executive order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resulted in the club having to close indefinitely due to its proximity to the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Located in Westchester County in Mamaroneck, Winged Foot is located just over 30 miles outside New York City.

As of last week, preparations by the USGA were underway and ongoing. However, the order has brought things to a halt and only essential personnel are allowed on the course at this time while other USGA staffers are sheltered in various locations throughout the county.

This is obviously a major concern for the USGA as it pertains to having the U.S. Open setting ready in time.

A decision on the U.S. Open is expected in mid-April

U.S. Open
U.S. Open trophy | Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The closure of Winged Foot Golf Club is certainly an issue for the USGA. However, while postponement is certainly on the table, no official decision is expected until mid-April. The USGA released a statement on Tuesday explaining their decision-making process moving forward.

“We continue to hold the dates for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in June and monitor all available guidance and regulations from the CDC, WHO and other federal, state and local authorities to do what is in the best interests of the community for the health and safety of all those involved.

“We had previously stopped the build of our corporate hospitality tents and are creating contingency plans should we need to pivot, given that postponement is a possibility. It is premature at this point to speculate on any potential date or location changes, but we expect to make a decision sometime in the middle of April.”

USGA statement on the status of the U.S. Open

There are no plans for any golf before at least mid-May. On the same day the PGA Championship was postponed, the PGA Tour canceled all events through May 10. The last tournament to be played in full was the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, won by Tyrrell Hatton.