New Zealand Open cancelled over coronavirus uncertainty
Up to 300 people from overseas had been expected to attend New Zealand Open in Queenstown in February, according to organising committee chairman John Hart, who says: "We are extremely disappointed to have had to come to this decision."
Last Updated: 29/10/20 2:42pm
Organisers of next year's New Zealand Open have cancelled the event because of uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament was scheduled to be held on two courses in the South Island town of Queenstown in February.
"We are extremely disappointed to have had to come to this decision," organising committee chairman John Hart said in a statement on Thursday.
"But the effects of the pandemic, borders being closed, and the financial risk associated with a potential later cancellation due to any further Covid-19 outbreaks means we have no other alternative other than to cancel this event now."
Hart said they had expected up to 300 people from overseas to attend the tournament.
New Zealand has closed its borders to anyone but returning citizens or permanent residents and while overseas visitors can apply for an exemption, they must meet stringent conditions and are rarely granted.
All arrivals must also still undergo 14-days isolation with short-term visitors charged for their stay in government-run facilities.
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The cancellation of the New Zealand Open follows that of Australia's four major golf tournaments, all of which were also scheduled for February.
Gleneagles has been announced as the venue for The Senior Open presented by Rolex in 2022, the first time the Scottish course has hosted a senior major.
Gleneagles hosted Europe's Ryder Cup victory at 2014 and Europe's dramatic Solheim Cup success in 2019, with the iconic venue also previously playing host to 26 European Tour events since 1974.
The event will be one of three majors in Scotland that summer, with The 150th Open scheduled to be held at St Andrews a week earlier and the AIG Women's Open that year taking place at Muirfield.
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Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director - Championships at The R&A, said: "This is another great 'first' in the history of The Senior Open and we could not be more thrilled to be staging the championship on The King's Course at Gleneagles.
"With such a strong pedigree in hosting championships, The King's is a fine test of golf and we know the players will relish the opportunity to play there.
"Adding another renowned venue to the roster is a clear indication of the continuing development of The Senior Open and I'm sure there will be a real sense of anticipation among the players and fans for our first visit to Gleneagles in two years' time."
Sunningdale Golf Club hosts the 2021 contest, a year on from the Championship being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the 35th edition then taking place on the King's Course at Gleneagles from July 21-24, 2022.
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