The 20th edition of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship has been rescheduled for next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite Scotland making significant headway with combating coronavirus infections, the decision was taken with the aim to ensure the safety of one of golf’s most traditional annual celebrity events.
The competition was originally due to take place from 1-4 October in what would have been a milestone occasion on its 20th birthday.
But, given the fact that the $5-million event will take place over three courses (Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns), the current climate would have complicated a lot of logistical measures in order to proceed.
Johann Rupert, mastermind behind the event, said in a Twitter post the large field of competitors could jeopardise the work the Scottish government has done to control the spread of the virus.
The Scottish Government is doing an exemplary job at combatting the spread of the virus – I feel safe playing golf in Scotland. We therefore do not want to take the risk of one of our 300+ participants inadvertently bringing the Covid-19 virus back to St.Andrews.
— Cutmaker (@cutmaker) July 27, 2020
In a statement released on Monday, a spokesperson for the championship committee said they look forward to celebrate the big occasion in 2021.
‘This is a real disappointment for ourselves and for all golf lovers, especially those that appreciate links golf. Alfred Dunhill has been supporting golf at the Home of Golf and in Scotland for 35 years, initially with the Alfred Dunhill Cup and for the past 19 years with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
‘We commend the Scottish Government in their resolute response to the pandemic. We do not wish to undermine their efforts or cause any undue risk to the communities that normally host us. Given the international nature of the event and in particular our large amateur field we felt that this was the prudent decision to take.
‘The size and complexity of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, played over three courses with 168 professionals and 168 amateurs, makes it very difficult to stage safely within the current guidelines given the uncertainties we are all facing.
‘Regrettably, therefore, we have decided to postpone the 20th Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to 2021, but very much look forward to returning next year.’