The women’s Open postponement is another disruption to the golf calendar, joining the delayed men’s majors — the Masters, usually played every April in Augusta, Ga. and the P.G.A. Championship, which was set for mid-May in San Francisco. No rescheduled dates have been announced. Another men’s major, the British Open, is leaning toward a postponement, perhaps until 2021.
A decision on postponing the men’s U.S. Open, scheduled to begin June 11 at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y., is expected next week from the U.S.G.A., hosts of the tournament. While the U.S.G.A. would like to keep the event at Winged Foot, its decision to move the women’s Open to December — rather than scheduling it in an earlier month — signals an understanding that it may be more prudent to target late 2020 as potential landing spot for large scale sporting events. But holding a U.S. Open in December would mean moving the event out of the northeastern United States due to shortened daylight hours and weather concerns.
Even in Houston, the temperate location of the women’s Open, the U.S.G.A. has had to make concessions to accommodate a winter start. It announced Friday it would use two golf courses simultaneously for the first two rounds of the women’s Open.
Additionally, both the men’s and women’s Opens will be broadcast on Fox, which in December expects to be broadcasting a full slate of pivotal, late-season N.F.L. games.
The L.P.G.A. events postponed Friday were the Pelican Women’s Championship in Tampa Bay, which moves from mid-May to Nov. 12-15; the ShopRite L.P.G.A. Classic in Atlantic City, which was slated to begin on May 29 but now will be contested from July 31 to Aug. 2; and the Meijer L.P.G.A. Classic in Michigan, a mid-June event that has yet to be rescheduled. The Pure Silk Championship in Virginia was canceled and will return in 2021. The Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., postponed last month, was rescheduled to begin Sept. 24.
Given the international makeup of a usual L.P.G.A. field, Whan said one factor in suspending the schedule into June was to give players and their caddies the time and the freedom go home if they wanted. He said there was mounting anxiety about travel bans.
“Rather than saying let’s check back in every two weeks, it just was becoming uncomfortable,” Whan said. “We were actually adding to anxiety, not relieving it, for a lot of our athletes.”