Fellow U.S. Open venues Oakmont and Pinehurst No. 2 are being suggested as an alternative should Winged Foot be ruled-out in hosting the June 18th to 21st championship.
The Rockland/Westcherster Daily News is now reporting unless there’s a rapid improvement on the coronavirus front the year’s third Major Championship will be postponed to move to either August or September. If so, September 10th to 13th is already being suggested as likely dates.
Construction workers and volunteers were to begin last week in setting-up the Westcherster located Winged Foot course but those preparations were halted following an executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In fact, Cuomo spoke noon Sunday local New York time in his now US-wide televised daily news briefings in singling out the Westchester/Long Island region as now of the second-highest major Coronavirus concern after New York City.
What does seem clear is that the New Jersey-based USGA that runs the U.S. Open is holding off as long as they possibly can in delaying any announcement of postponing.
In the meantime it has been left to Beth Taylor and the USGAs Senior Director of Championship Communications to issue statements.”We are working collaboratively with other golf organizations to determine how to proceed with the 2020 calendar of events,” she said.
“We’re all certainly looking forward to returning to golf, but only when it has been determined safe to do so. The top priority for each of us remains the safety and well-being with everyone involved with our championships and tournaments.”
However the Rockland/Westcherster Daily News is also stating two unnamed people who have knowledge of the ongoing discussions and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, indicated the USGA prefers to stay at Winged Foot, which remains eager to host, but noted it’s become “increasingly doubtful” the U.S. Open will be played on the original June 18-21 dates.
It is why Oakmont Country Club and Pinehurst No. 2 are being discussed as alternatives.
Oakmont is located in Pennsylvania and has hosted nine U.S. Open’s (2016, 2007, 1994, 1983, 1973, 1962, 1953, 1935 and 1927) and more than any other venue while the North Carolina located Pinehurst No. 2 has played host venue on three occasions (2014, 2005 and 1999).
If conditions improved rapidly, it would only be possible to hold a scaled-back version of the championship with minimal spectators. A big factor in the decision to push ahead or postpone will be the input of New York Governor Cuomo and Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
The USGA announced on Friday it was delaying entries for the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior until the week of April 27