Canadian Open canceled for second straight year amid COVID-19 pandemic as PGA Tour seeks to replace event

For the second year in a row, the Canadian Open will not be played. The PGA Tour announced on Tuesday that this season’s Canadian Open — just like last season’s Canadian Open — will be canceled because of complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the search is on for a replacement tournament and venue inside the United States.

This year’s edition of the Canadian Open supposed to be played at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 10-13, which would have preceded the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines the following week.

“Even with an extensive health and safety plan in place, we faced a number of significant logistical challenges that led us to this decision,” said PGA Tour president Tyler Dennis in a statement. “While we are disappointed to cancel Canada’s National Championship, we are thankful to our partners RBC and Golf Canada – along with our Canadian fans — for their unwavering support and cooperation throughout this process. We look forward to the RBC Canadian Open returning to our schedule next year.”

Canada has been, broadly speaking, more strict on travel restrictions than the United States, and that surely factored into the decision.

“It was also important to be respectful partners to the health leaders and government officials who have helped inform our operation protocols and provided great direction on this journey,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “The timing simply did not align for us and we are deeply disappointed that the celebrated return of the RBC Canadian Open will have to wait another year.”

Now the PGA Tour will look to fill in this slot, and it would be unsurprising if it does what it did last year which is to play two events in a row at Muirfield Village. The Canadian Open was sandwiched by the Memorial Tournament and the U.S. Open, and last year, the PGA Tour went back-to-back at Muirfield Village with the Workday Charity Open and the Memorial at Muirfield Village.

That is the most likely scenario once again as players prep for the third major of 2021 (and sixth of the season!) later in June. This time around, it would be an event following the Memorial instead of preceding it, but the same concept — two in a row at Muirfield Village — applies here. 

Just as he is this week at The Players Championship, Rory McIlroy will go into the 2022 Canadian Open as the defending champion. He won the 2019 edition by seven strokes over Shane Lowry and Webb Simpson.