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The 149th Open Championship scheduled for Royal St George’s from July 16-19 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, golf’s governing body the R&A announced on Monday.

“The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current Covid-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement. “The Championship will next be played at Royal St George’s in 2021.”

The Open was last held on the course in Kent on England’s south-east coast in 2011 when Darren Clarke claimed victory.

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Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said the decision had been made with a “heavy heart”.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly,” he said.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.”

It is the first time since 1945 that the British Open will miss a year.

Sporting events impacted by coronavirus

Kelly: Get with the program, Trump: Sports as we know them are over

Against the current: Brent Hayden busy reformulating his comeback as Olympics postponed

Olympics

The Olympic Rings logo is pictured in front of the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne on March 18, 2020, as doubts increase over whether Tokyo can safely host the summer Games amid the spread of the COVID-19.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Tokyo’s Olympic Athletes Village may be used to house coronavirus patients

The under-construction Athletes Village for the Tokyo Olympics could be used as a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has been talking about the possibility of occupying the massive development on Tokyo Bay, which is to house up to 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes and staff during the games.

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The complex, which will eventually include 24 buildings, is expected to remain unoccupied with the Olympics delayed for 16 months.

Koike said the Athletes Village was “one of the options, but the village is not finished yet. We are talking about places that are available even today or tomorrow and checking a possibility one by one.”

Reuters

The countdown clock is clicking again for the Tokyo Olympics:

The countdown clocks have been reset and are ticking again for the Tokyo Olympics.

The model outside Tokyo Station, and others across the Japanese capital were switched on almost immediately after organizers announced the new dates – July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.

The clocks read 479 days to go. This seems a long way away, but also small and insignificant compared with the worldwide fallout from the coronavirus.

Then again, it’s not much time to reassemble the first Olympics to be postponed since the modern Games began 124 years ago; not for 11,000 Olympic athletes, 4,400 Paralympic athletes – and not for sponsors, broadcasters, the fans that have already bought tickets, and Japanese organizers and taxpayers who have spent billions, and will have to come up with billions more to pay for the setback.

Associated Press

COVID-19 exposing the thin financial margins of Canada’s Olympic athletes

Any lingering hope Sarah Pavan had about competing on this season’s professional beach volleyball circuit was crushed the day city workers came to cut down the nets on Hermosa Beach.

Canada’s reigning world champion, with partner Melissa Humana-Peredes, lives in the beachfront city just south of Los Angeles. Nets were taken down Saturday to discourage large gatherings.

This week’s decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s organizing committee to postpone the Tokyo Games to 2021 was a relief to Canada’s athletes who weren’t going if the Games were held this summer.

But the current shutdown of sport worldwide means athletes aren’t earning prize money from competitions, nor performance bonuses from sponsors.

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Canadian Press

Hockey

Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey club, sits empty in Washington.

Nick Wass/The Associated Press

Calgary ban on public events includes Flames, Stampeders should leagues restart

Calgary’s ban on public events until June 30 includes NHL and CFL games should those leagues resume before then, the city’s mayor said Friday.

Leagues, games and tournaments around the world have been suspended, cancelled or postponed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Eighteen Albertans had died and 1,075 people had been infected in the province as of Friday.

The NHL suspended operations March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.

The Calgary Flames were in playoff position sitting third in the Pacific Division with a 36-27-7 record.

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– Canadian Press

Ottawa Senators say four more members test positive for COVID-19

The Ottawa Senators say four additional members of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to six.

The team announced Wednesday that the people in question travelled with the team to California before the NHL suspended its season March 12 because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Senators revealed last month that two players had also tested positive. The three-paragraph statement issued Wednesday said, “All test results have now been received, and all those who tested positive have recovered.”

The team did not specify if the additional cases were players, coaches or other members of Ottawa’s staff. Senators colour commentator Gord Wilson announced Friday he had tested positive.

Two members of the Colorado Avalanche also tested positive for COVID-19.

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– Canadian Press

‘A crazy time’: NHL stars discuss life in coronavirus limbo and where the league goes from here

It is only two weeks since the decision was made to suspend NHL play, but seems so much longer. Most of us are keeping distance from others to avoid getting COVID-19. Many are in isolation, fearful of the illness that shares symptoms with the flu but is far more dangerous.

Lives are being lost. Nothing is normal.

“Mentally, it is hard not knowing if and when we are going to come back,” Flyers Captain Claude Giroux said Thursday. He was on a video call with the two Staal brothers – Jordan plays for the Carolina Hurricanes – and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

A second was held later with Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, Nick Foligno of Columbus, the Islanders’ Anders Lee and P.K. Subban of New Jersey.

NHL teams were down to about their last dozen regular-season games. Playoff positions were on the line. And then everything stopped. Crosby is at home in Pittsburgh, trying his best to stay fit in isolation. Like most players, he usually relies on his team’s training facilities, so he doesn’t have much equipment at home. He rides an exercise bike every day, and does push-ups.

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Marty Klinkenberg

NHL extends self-quarantine guideline until April 15

The NHL has extended its guideline for players and staff to self-quarantine until April 15 and it is possible the coronavirus pandemic could push that back even further.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the extension to the Associated Press in an email Tuesday. It adds an extra 11 days to the previous guidance of April 4, which Daly last week acknowledged was “a meaningless date” because of the rapidly changing situation.

“As we get closer to the date, we’re going to have to make decisions as to what to do then,” Daly said. “We’re biting this off in chunks.”

The NHL put its season on pause March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining. Commissioner Gary Bettman said then he was optimistic of resuming the season and awarding the Stanley Cup.

The timeline for doing that still isn’t clear. The NHL has asked teams for arena availability dates through August, so it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see hockey last deep into the summer.

Canadian Press

Basketball

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2019, file photo, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaks at a news conference before Game 1 of basketball's WNBA Finals between the Connecticut Sun and the Washington Mystics, in Washington. The WNBA draft will be a virtual event this year. The league announced Thursday, March 26, 2020, that its draft will still be held April 17 as originally scheduled, but without players, fans or media in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The WNBA draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selections in the draft,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The Associated Press

NBA coaches prepare for possible intriguing playoff matchups

With NBA games indefinitely on hold, there has been a lot of discussion about post-season possibilities — including by coaches around the league.

They’re preparing for what a resumption of the season that was shut down March 11 could look like in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he’s trying to prepare for every possibility that would allow the Raptors a chance to defend their title.

“We’re ready for whatever is thrown at us,” Nurse said recently during a conference call with reporters. “I don’t think it really matters. What matters is that we attack the title in whatever format it’s going to be presented in and we go for it.”

No one knows what will be thrown at the NBA or the rest of the sports world. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising against large gatherings make the calendar a major factor in how the league could resume its season.

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The ideas are many, from a shortened version of the remaining schedule played without fans to the very real possibility of jumping straight into the playoffs to ensure a season is completed before the end of summer.

Associated Press

WNBA postpones start of season this month because of virus

The WNBA season will not start on time next month because of the coronavirus pandemic, and when it begins is unclear.

The league announced Friday it will delay the season for an indefinite period. Training camps were to open on April 26 and the regular season on May 15.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement Friday the league will “use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats.”

“Our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees,” Engelbert said.

The WNBA, which was set to being its 24th season and is the longest running professional women’s sports league, will still hold a virtual draft April 17. A few college underclassmen — including Oregon’s Satou Sabally, Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter and UConn’s Megan Walker — have said they will enter the draft.

They have until Tuesday to withdraw their names from the draft and still keep their college eligibility assuming they haven’t signed with an agent.

Associated Press

Masai Ujiri says ‘it’s time we stick together, bring people together by staying apart’ amid coronavirus outbreak

Masai Ujiri is working from home like many of us, hopping between conference calls, playing with his kids, and one other thing.

“I’m basically stalking Dr. Fauci as if he’s like the next NBA draft pick,” the Toronto Raptors president said with a laugh.

With basketball on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ujiri is not out travelling the world scouting players as he usually does in early April of a typical season. Watching for and following the latest advice of health experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci – America’s familiar, white-haired infectious disease expert – has taken priority over the business of basketball.

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The Raptors president is doing what he can to help his self-isolating team members stay connected – lots of video calls with players, ownership and every department from coaches to scouts and analytics staff.

Rachel Brady

Timberwolves’ Towns says mother hospitalized with COVID-19

Minnesota Timberwolves centre Karl-Anthony Towns says his mother is hospitalized and in a medically-induced coma after contracting the new coronavirus.

Towns talked about the condition of his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, early Wednesday on his Instagram page and urged his followers to take COVID-19 seriously and practice social distancing.

Towns said both his parents went to the hospital recently and were tested for the disease. While his father was released and told to quarantine at home, his mother’s condition deteriorated to the point where she was put on a ventilator and placed in a coma.

“She just wasn’t getting better,” Towns said. “Her fever wasn’t cutting from 103. It’d maybe go down to 101.9 with the meds then immediately spike back up during the night. She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs were getting worse, cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating in front of our eyes.”

Towns said he’s trying to remain positive attitude as his family deals with the situation.

“My mother, she’s the strongest woman I know and I know she’ll beat this,” Towns said. “We’re going to rejoice when she does.”

Associated Press

James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Knicks announced Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis.

Dolan is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus. He also owns the NHL’s New York Rangers, along with other venues like Radio City Music Hall, The Hulu Theatre and The Chicago Theatre.

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Associated Press

Baseball

CXS109 Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Dave Stewart delivers a first-inning pitch against the Chicago White Sox during Game 6 of the American League playoffs Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1993 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Robert Kozloff)

The Associated Press

Simulated series between Canada’s best ball teams of all time

In place of on-field baseball action postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Globe and Mail brings you a computer-simulated tournament involving four of the greatest Canadian teams in history, using the statistics-based software of the sports-game company Strat-O-Matic.

The first-round best-of-seven-game series pits the 1985 Blue Jays against their World Series-winning counterparts from 1993, while on the other side of the bracket the 1981 Expos take on the 1994 Montreal squad.

'93 Blue Jays vs. ’85 Blue Jays
'94 Expos vs. ’81 Expos

Agreement between MLB, players means 2020′s final pitch could be closer to Christmas than Halloween

If the final pitch of the 2020 baseball season comes closer to Christmas than Halloween, that’s fine with the players.

Major League Baseball owners ratified a 17-page agreement with the union on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with players willing to extend the season as long as needed to cover as close to a full schedule as possible.

Even if it involves neutral sites in warm-weather cities and domes. Even if it involves playing in empty ballparks. Even if it involves lots of day-night doubleheaders.

And if it means expanding the playoffs from 10 teams, fine.

Associated Press

Ross Atkins suggests seven-inning doubleheaders as a way to condense MLB season

If Major League Baseball needs to squeeze more games into a condensed season without exhausting pitching staffs, perhaps this idea could get tossed into play: seven-inning doubleheaders.

“Maybe that’s something we have to consider,” Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a conference call Wednesday.

Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the new coronavirus pandemic. The regular season had been scheduled to begin Thursday.

Minor-league teams and college teams typically play seven innings in each game of a doubleheader. But twinbills are rarely planned in the majors – only a handful were originally scheduled over the past decade.

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Associated Press

Deal would let pending MLB free agents’ contracts expire even if no baseball this year

Tennis

(FILES) In this file photo a water feature with the Wimbledon logo stands by the members area at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 1, 2018, on the eve of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament. - Roger Federer and Serena Williams were among the tennis stars left devastated on Wednesday as Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus. The cancellation of the oldest Grand Slam tournament at London's All England Club leaves the season in disarray, with no tennis set to be played until mid-July. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since Second World War due to coronavirus

Wimbledon was cancelled on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time since the Second World War that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won’t be played.

Britain imposed a nationwide lockdown just over a week ago, and the All England Club announced after a two-day emergency meeting that the event it refers to simply as The Championships is being scrapped for 2020. That hadn’t happened since 1945.

Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the club’s grass courts on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.

Instead, the next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.

Coronavirus Presents an Existential Threat to Some Pro Tennis Events

With professional tennis on hold until at least June — and perhaps much longer — the sport’s administrators and players are scrambling to cut their losses as tournaments are postponed or canceled en masse.

Looming over those adjustments, there’s a threat — that some events, particularly those on the lower rungs of the men’s and women’s tours, will not survive.

The size of the hit for each tournament depends on numerous factors, including the timing of a postponement, the operating budget, sponsorship agreements and the agreement with the venue.

Insurance largely will not help. Wimbledon, which is considering cancellation, is one tournament that has some coverage for a pandemic.

The vast majority of tour events have none. In fact, many WTA and ATP events have skipped full cancellation insurance altogether, with annual fees that can range from $200,000 to $700,000, depending on a tournament’s revenue.

Without insurance relief, tournaments will have to absorb losses on their own unless the tours or national tennis federations choose to offer financial assistance.

New York Times

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Golf

In this April 14, 2019, file photo, Patrick Reed, left, helps Tiger Woods with his green jacket after Woods won the Masters golf tournament, in Augusta, Ga. The annual rite of spring for golf won't happen this year. The Masters has been postponed until a later date.

The Associated Press

U.S. Women’s Open Postponed Until December

The U.S. Golf Association postponed the 75th U.S. Women’s Open from early June to mid-December on Friday, a notable sign that golf’s governing bodies are seriously weighing dates late this year as they scramble to reschedule an ever-expanding list of major postponed events.

The women’s Open will now be contested Dec. 10-13 at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, which had been set to host the event June 4-7. It would be the first women’s major held in December.

“The USGA remains committed to hosting the U.S. Women’s Open in 2020,” Mike Davis, the USGA chief executive, said. “Our priority remains ensuring the safety of all involved with the U.S. Women’s Open, while still providing the world’s best players the opportunity to compete this year.”

It is the third women’s major to be postponed in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, behind the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship. The ANA Inspiration, originally scheduled for this month, has been moved to Sept. 10-13. The Evian Championship was moved back two weeks to Aug. 6-9.

New York Times

Canadian golf club association asks members courses to follow health guidelines

The National Allied Golf Associations wants its member courses to listen to authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization issued a statement on Wednesday asking golf clubs across the country to follow the guidelines laid out by Health Canada, the World Health Organization, and other public officials.

“As leaders in an industry that employs more than 300,000 Canadians and includes nearly six million golfers from coast to coast, our priority above all else is the health and safety of people and our communities,” said NAGA.

NAGA is made up of five of the central organizations in Canadian golf including: Golf Canada, Canadian Golf Superintendent Association, Professional Golfers’ Association of Canada, Canadian Society of Club Managers and National Golf Course Owners Association Canada.

Quebec and New Brunswick had already mandated the closure of recreational facilities like golf clubs and Ontario’s state of emergency shut all non-essential businesses, including golf clubs.

Although NAGA doesn’t have the power to tell individual courses to close, it recommended that clubs no longer allow play during the novel coronavirus crisis even if it’s legally still permitted in the area.

Canadian Press

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PGA suspends The Masters in response to coronavirus outbreak

Augusta National last week postponed the Masters, another massive hit to the spring sports calendar.

So much for that annual rite of spring and the first week in April devoted to the brilliance of dogwoods and azaleas, Amen Corner and Tiger Woods chasing another green jacket.

“Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread coronavirus have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances,” Masters chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement.

The Masters had been scheduled for April 9 to 12.

Ridley said he hoped the decision puts Augusta National in the best position to host the Masters and its two other amateur events “at some later date.”

He did not indicate when the Masters could be played. The private club traditionally closes in May and does not open for its members until October.

A day earlier, the PGA Tour cancelled the rest of The Players Championship and decided to shut down its other tournaments for the next three weeks.

The PGA Championship, which was scheduled to start May 11 in San Francisco, was postponed as well.

The LPGA has also postponed its events on the main tour through April 5.

Associated Press

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