Evian Championship is first LPGA major casualty of 2020
The Ladies Professional Golf Association, the organiser of the top tour for women, has announced the cancellation of this year’s Evian Championship, one of the sport’s five majors, due to logistical concerns regarding travel restrictions.
The event was scheduled to take place between 6 and 9 August at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France but has now become the first major on the LPGA Tour to be cancelled and the 10th tournament overall on the calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament organisers said they were left with little option as “the ongoing uncertainty concerning the opening of borders poses a major risk to the organisation.”
In a statement, the organisers added: "The LPGA and the Evian Championship's organising committee have to recognise that the conditions for a safe event that lives up to the expectations of the public, players, organisers and their partners are not in place."
The women’s tour has been on hold since February because of the global health emergency.
Mike Whan, LPGA commissioner, said: "I have been incredibly impressed by the entire team at the Evian Championship. They worked so hard to host this global event despite the obvious challenges.
"They know that high-pursed, career-changing events like the Evian are more important than ever, especially in an LPGA year that has been drastically reduced due to Covid-19. I know this was a tough decision for everyone involved, but it is one that we had to take given the restrictions we faced."
Previously known as the Evian Masters, a leading event on the Ladies European Tour, the tournament was recognised as the sport’s fifth ‘major’ by the LPGA Tour in 2011.
The LPGA’s four other majors are still slated to take place this year as part of a revised calendar, with the Women's British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland moved back to August, followed by the ANA Inspiration in September, the Women's PGA Championship in October and the US Women's Open in December.
The tour had hoped to restart with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational tournament in Michigan from 15 to 18 July.
The men’s PGA Tour is set to resume tomorrow with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, with the first five events to be played behind closed doors.
The first men's major - the US PGA Championship in San Francisco, USA - is planned for 6 to 9 August, the same weekend the women's Evian Championship was due to be played.
The men’s British Open was cancelled in April, while the US Open was moved from June to September and the Masters shifted from April to November.