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R&A delay decision on Open Championship

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London (AFP)

The fate of the 2020 Open golf championship remains in the balance after organisers the R&A held off making a decisive call on Thursday.

The 149th edition of the championship is set to take place from July 16-19 at Royal St George's in Sandwich, Kent.

Coronavirus has caused havoc with the sporting calendar, including the postponement of the first two golf majors of the year, the Masters and the US PGA Championship.

"We are continuing to work through our options for The Open this year, including postponement," R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement.

"Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve.

"We are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can.

"We will give a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so and thank everyone for their support and understanding in this challenging situation."

Under government guidelines, residents in the United Kingdom are confined to their homes but for shopping for food and medicine, essential work and one form of exercise a day.

Royal St George's is less than 100 miles from London, the epicentre of the virus outbreak in the UK.

Wimbledon became the latest high-profile sporting event in Britain to be cancelled due to the virus on Wednesday for the first time since World War II.

The Open has also been played every year since resuming after the war in 1946.

The only other golf major of the year the US Open, which is due to take place at Winged Foot from June 18-21, is also at serious risk of being postponed.

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