THE Staysure Tour – Europe’s Senior Tour for players aged 50 and older – has announced the cancellation of its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 crisis.
The decision was taken following consultation with the Tour’s membership and its medical advisers.
The move was based on the additional risk associated with the players’ age demographic – and the complexities of staging events across a number of territories in Europe and Asia.
It was ratified by the Staysure Tour tournament committee following earlier approval by the European Tour board of directors and executive team.
All 2020 playing exemption categories will be extended to the 2021 season.
Staysure Tour chief Mark Aspland said: “This decision was not taken lightly.
“But we feel it is the most responsible course of action following consultation with all of our stakeholders – and taking into account feedback from our players around the complexities of international travel at the current time.
“While professional golf is slowly returning with the necessary safety protocols, we have to recognise the additional risk associated with the age demographic of the Staysure Tour membership – alongside the challenges of implementing the requisite health strategy across the multiple territories we play in.
“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Ryan Howsam and Staysure, who have been incredibly supportive throughout this process, allowing us to arrive at this difficult decision.
“We look forward to working together, and with our other partners, across the 2021 season.”
Tour was returning to Trevose
In February, the Staysure Tour announced the first six events of the 2020 season – including the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship, at Trevose G&CC, in Cornwall.
It would have been the Over 50s second visit to spectacular Harry Colt course at Padstow with spectacular views of the North Atlantic.
David J Russell, chairman of the Staysure Tour tournament committee and a member of the European Tour’s board of directors, said: “As professional golfers, we all want to be out on the golf course competing again.
“However, these are truly unique circumstances caused by a global pandemic.
“We had to acknowledge the age demographic of the Staysure Tour players presents additional associated risks.
“We are therefore supportive of this difficult – but responsible – decision to cancel the 2020 Staysure Tour season.
“And we look forward to working together with Mark, Ryan Howsam, Staysure and all our other partners on planning for 2021.”
Two Senior Majors in States still on schedule
THE first two Senior Majors of the season in America were either postponed or cancelled in early April, after the coronavirus pandemic swept around the world in February and March.
The first – the Traditions Championship was moved back from May 7-10. It will now be played at Greystone G&CC in Birmingham, Alabama, from September 24-27.
May’s Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship at Michigan’s Harbour Shores was cancelled.
Meanwhile, the USGA called off the US Senior Open, which had been due to be played in late June, at Newport Country Club.
The Bridgestone Senior Players Championship – which the PGA Champions Tour recognises as a Major – is still set to be played at Firestone, in Ohio, from August 13-16. It was moved back from July 9-12.
Only those European Staysure Tour players with playing rights on the Champions Tour will be eligible to play in those two Majors.
And that assumes they can meet any quarantine periods, and travel restrictions do not prevent them entering the US.
Bernhard Langer, the Florida-based German, is the only player to have completed the Career Grand Slam in Seniors golf by winning all five.
He also has the record for the most victories – 11 in total so far – two more than Gary Player. Jack Nicklaus has eight.
Langer has 30 more PGA Champion Tour victories to his name – plus one more on the Staysture Tour. He needs five more wins in the States to overhaul Hale Irwin’s record of 45 victories.