The U.S. Open at Winged Foot has become the third golf major championship domino to fall as a result of the coronavirus crisis, The Post has learned.
Sources with knowledge of the United States Golf Association’s plans told The Post on Thursday night that Winged Foot has been informed the tournament will not take place in June as scheduled. The plan is for the tournament to remain at Winged Foot, but to be played later in the summer.
The 120th U.S. Open, which was scheduled to be played June 18-21 at the Mamaroneck club, joins the Masters and PGA Championship in being delayed. The Masters, which was to be played April 9-12, has been postponed until later in the year (possibly October). The PGA, which was set for May 14-17 at Harding Park in San Francisco, also has been postponed with plans for a new date later in the summer.
“[We] remain hopeful about late in the summer, [maybe] early September,’’ the source said regarding the U.S. Open, adding that the club is “optimistic’’ the tournament will take place at Winged Foot.
The last time the U.S. Open was not played was in 1945 due to World War II.
The USGA, the tournament’s governing body, would not confirm the move of the date.
“Nothing is official at this point,’’ Beth Major, the USGA’s senior director of championship communications, told The Post on Thursday night. “Obviously, we’re talking about it, knowing what’s going on in New York [which has the most COVID-19 cases in the country] right now.’’
The USGA announced two days ago that it planned to have a decision about whether the tournament would be played as scheduled by the middle of April.
“We said, ‘middle of April and no later,’ ’’ Major said. “But [a decision] could come earlier, which for all of us would be great so we can go on with the plans.’’
Now, of the four major championships, the only one that remains on the schedule as originally planned — at least for the moment — is the British Open, which is set to be played July 16-19 at Royal St. Georges.
There hasn’t been a golf tournament played since The Players Championship was canceled on March 12 after one round.
The executive order last week by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for 100 percent of the non-essential work force to stay at home resulted in the indefinite closure of Winged Foot, which last hosted the U.S. Open in 2006.
That caused the USGA personnel who had been on site to leave the club. Construction of the tournament structures, such as grandstands and corporate and concession tents, ceased last week.
“We continue to hold the dates for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in June and monitor all available guidance and regulations from the CDC, WHO and other federal, state and local authorities to do what is in the best interests of the community for the health and safety of all those involved,” the USGA said in a statement two days ago. “We had previously stopped the build of our corporate hospitality tents and are creating contingency plans should we need to pivot, given that postponement is a possibility. It is premature at this point to speculate on any potential date or location changes, but we expect to make a decision sometime in the middle of April.’’
That decision, as it turned out, came early.