The Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship, the two biggest tournaments in Australian golf, have been postponed from their scheduled 2021 dates to early 2022.
The ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and Golf Australia jointly announced that the Australian PGA Championship, scheduled for Dec. 2-5 at Royal Queensland, has been pushed back to Jan. 13-16, 2022, and the Australian Open has moved from Nov. 25-28 to an early 2022 date to be announced at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
Neither tournament was played in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time since World War II that neither championship was conducted.
“These decisions are not taken lightly when we are talking about our flagship tournaments that are playing opportunities for our members,” said PGA of Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman.
“But as much as the number of Covid-19 cases is a big concern, it’s also the quarantine requirements that make it difficult to run golf tournaments. Not all countries require international visitors to quarantine – America, for example – and that puts Australia at a disadvantage in an international sport.”
However, both the Aussie PGA and Golf Australia remain hopeful that vaccination efforts will make the tournaments possible with a few months' delay. It could open up the possibility of international players and Aussies competing outside of the country not having to quarantine for two weeks before being able to compete.
“Unfortunately, it is not a simple matter of the coordination of international players,” said Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland.
“The uncertainty of the quarantine requirements for any players coming from across state borders needed to be considered. But the public health considerations, including the uncertainty about lockdowns and living restrictions make it very difficult to plan for an event with any certainty.”