The 2020 men's major calendar has already been disrupted by the coronavirus, with Augusta National Golf Club choosing to postpone the Masters Tournament and the PGA of America moving the PGA Championship to some to-be-determined date later in the summer.
Next up on the original 2020 schedule would be the US Open, which has been set to be played June 18-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. However, with New York turning into the early epicenter of the pandemic's spread in the United States, and statewide orders to close non-essential businesses in place for the foreseeable future, the US Open is in doubt.
On March 26, the New York Post reported the USGA is planning to postpone the 2020 US Open, moving it from its June date to another point in the year. The Post quotes a club source as saying Winged Foot remains optimistic to still host the US Open in 2020, perhaps in September.
Reached for comment by the Post, the USGA said the report is premature but indicated they are having conversations about next steps.
“Nothing is official at this point,’’ said Beth Major, USGA senior director of championship communications. “Obviously, we’re talking about it, knowing what’s going on in New York [which has the most COVID-19 cases in the country] right now.’’
Winged Foot is closed, and the USGA staff who have been working (for years) on this year's championship are now in a holding pattern.
With New York City turning into the area with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the optics of hosting a major championship there in June would likely be bad. Even if the state's shelter-in-place orders are followed to the letter, and the spread of the virus is lessened, it's highly unlikely a scenario would emerge where the area would be mostly in the clear by June.
The Post's reporting that Winged Foot is set to remain host of the championship is intriguing, however. If the situation improves in New York, playing the US Open there in the fall could be an emotional week for the area and the country.
However, the USGA has confirmed to other outlets that it has looked at potential backup sites if Winged Foot is unable to serve as US Open host. One of those potential sites is Oakmont Country Club, near Pittsburgh, Pa. Oakmont is considered one of a few clubs in the country that could host the Open on a moment's notice.