LPGA’s Australian swing canceled for 2021. Is another long break ahead?

The LPGA’s Australian swing has been canceled for 2021. On the heels of last week’s news about the Australian Women’s Open cancellation, organizers have announced that the Vic Open won’t take place either.

The Vic Open, a groundbreaking mixed event in which both men’s and women’s fields competed at the same venue at the same time for equal prize money, was scheduled to take place next February. Min Woo Lee and Hee Young Park won the 2020 edition.

“These are disappointing decisions to make, no doubt,” said James Sutherland, Golf Australia’s chief executive, in a statement.

Sutherland pointed to COVID quarantine and border crossing concerns as a chief reason for the decision.

“We’ve taken advice from the relevant domestic government authorities and looked at the contingencies including the creation of a ‘bubble,’ ” he said, “but they are not viable. It left us in a position where our field strength would have been severely compromised.”

It will be the first time since 1945 that the men’s Australian Open will not be played, and the first time since 2006 that the women’s Open will not be contested. The men’s Vic Open dates back to 1957. The women’s Vic Open began in 1988 and stopped after four years, resuming in 2012.

The LPGA’s season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions is scheduled for Jan. 21-24 and tickets are on sale now for the event, which takes place at the Tranquilo Golf Course at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando. Fans haven’t been on site at LPGA events since the tour restarted in July.

There could be a considerable break after the TOC for the tour, as events in Thailand, Singapore and China were expected to follow the Australian events. It’s possible that border crossings and quarantines could impact those as well, pushing them back to later in the year. After another long layoff in early 2021, the rest of the year could be packed.

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