PGA postponed and could be called off

February 2021 now looms as a massive month for Australian golf after the PGA Championship scheduled for Queensland in December was postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The tournament, won last year by Adam Scott, has been tentatively scheduled to be played from February 18-21, 2021, with the million-dollar Vic Open also scheduled for that month.

But PGA chief executive Gavin Kirkman said it could yet be cancelled if the event couldn’t be staged safely

The Australian Open was also postponed until 2021, with the hope of a February or March date, which is yet to be confirmed.

It could mean two Australian Opens and two PGAs played in 2021.

Closed interstate and international borders, plus quarantine restrictions, forced the changes, with limited options for attracting players from overseas hampering efforts to stage the event.

We’ll be waiting a little bit longer until we see you all at @RQGOLF for the #AusPGA ⛳️

🗞️https://t.co/f66CYInARQ pic.twitter.com/13Tah0ILBS

Kirkman said the PGA would continue to monitor and review the decision, with a definitive ruling of the event’s scheduling to be made in December.

“The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic makes it extremely difficult to stage events at the level we would normally expect,” he said.

“We will continue to be agile and rely on the expert advice of the Queensland Government to safeguard against the spread of the virus.

“Our new date will be subject to health regulations and will be reviewed again in early December when we expect to be armed with a more accurate prediction of COVID-19’s impact across the country during summer.

“At that time we will determine whether the event will proceed in February or, as a last resort, cancelled. This will ensure our members and key stakeholders are provided appropriate notice of any decision made.”

Contingency plans, including players entering a hub and competing while serving a strict quarantine period, were investigated.

But tournament director Nick Dastey said it was too difficult.

“Different from other professional sports, golf is a week-to-week travelling tour, and in addition to playing in front of no fans, players would have potentially been required to undertake a further period of quarantine prior to or at the conclusion of the tournament,” he said.

“For interstate and international players, additional quarantine measures when returning to their home location or next tournament may have also meant a further 14-day quarantine.

“While it is not a decision taken lightly, these measures would not be in the best interests of our members, our fans, stakeholders and commercial partners, and as such we have made the decision to postpone the event with the hope that restrictions ease by 2021.”

The Greg Norman Medal, held during the week of the PGA Championship, has also been postponed.

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