Louis Oosthuizen hits a tee shot on day four of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on December 8 2019. Picture: AFP/PETER PARKS
Louis Oosthuizen hits a tee shot on day four of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on December 8 2019. Picture: AFP/PETER PARKS

Melbourne — The Australian Open, the country’s oldest and most prestigious golf event, has been postponed from its scheduled staging in November due to Covid-19, say its organisers.

Golf Australia had planned to stage the 105th edition at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club later in 2020 but were now looking at other dates in early 2021, the governing body said on Tuesday.

Melbourne is midway through a six-week lockdown as authorities battle a surge in Covid-19 infections.

“These are very challenging times for all Australians, and the uncertainty the global pandemic has caused makes it very difficult to be definitive in relation to future dates at this time,” Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse said.

“When you consider the rescheduled Major championships, particularly the [US] Masters from November 12-15, assembling the customary world-class field was also becoming increasingly difficult.”

The 2020 tournament was to have been the first staged outside Sydney in 15 years.

“We would like to think we could still play the Australian Open this summer and will work with Kingston Heath Golf Club to find a date suitable for all,” Brookhouse said. “However, it may have to be in the January-March 2021 window with so many variables still to play out.”

Australian Matt Jones won the 2019 tournament at The Australian Golf Club.

Reuters

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