14 Apr 2020 | Men's Australian Open |

Open reprieve for Aussie stars

by Contributor

Aaron Pike, Matt Jones and Takumi Kanaya punch their Open ticket at The Australian in December.
Aaron Pike, Matt Jones and Takumi Kanaya punch their Open ticket at The Australian in December.

By Bernie McGuire, Florida

Dual Australian Open champion Matt Jones and fellow Aussie Aaron Pike can breath a small sigh of relief knowing their places are guaranteed into the rescheduled 2021 Open Championship.

The US PGA Tour sent a memo to its membership, including Jones, indicating all players who had secured a spot in the field for the Open Championship as of 6 April, 2020, would remain eligible for the rescheduled 2021 tournament at Royal St. George’s.

In the choking bushfire smoke that had engulfed Sydney, Jones emerged a one-stroke winner over South African Louis Oosthuizen to clinch his second Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in December and, with it, his place in golf's oldest major for a fifth occasion.

Pike secured his first Open berth with a final-round 69 to share third place on 12 under with the world's top-ranked amateur, Japan's Takumi Kanaya, as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

The PGA Tour also informed players it hoped to return to competition on 21 May at the famous Colonial Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

But the memo said the Tour would continue to "lean on guidance from health and government officials" when coming to such a decision.

Once a decision on a restart date is made, the Tour said it would give its players as much notice as possible.

"At a minimum, it is our hope to give the membership at least three to four weeks’ notice before restarting the season," the memo said.

"We understand many of you may be impacted by travel restrictions and/or the inability to practise in your area, thus we want to be able to give you as much time as possible to allow you to come back fully prepared."

The Tour is also trying to figure out matters outside schedules, including what happens if members are unable to play the minimum 15 events required to maintain membership.

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