The Morning Punch Out for March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Welcome to The Morning Punch Out, a quick guide for your day in golf.

Report: Olympics To Be Postponed Until 2021

Just one day after the International Olympic Committee gave itself four weeks to make a decision on whether or not to postpone the 2020 Olympics, longtime IOC committee member Dick Pound told outlets that a decision had been reached.

“On the basis of the information, the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today's Christine Brennan. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

The silver lining for golf in this postponement is the obvious re-opening of qualification that, among others, brings Tiger Woods back into the fold. Love him or hate him, it's difficult to argue that Woods' involvement in the 2021 Tokyo Games would do anything but bolster the golf portion of the proceedings.

US Open Venue Shut Down By Executive Order

As the next major championship still scheduled in its original date, contesting the U.S. Open at Winged Foot during its slotted June 18-21 date took a hit on Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an executive order that resulted in the indefinite closure of Winged Foot Golf Club, halting preparations for the major championship, which was set to have a firmer decision about its future made next month.

“There are multiple variables that we need to consider, including the CDC and local guidelines,” USGA chief brand officer Craig Annis said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation and making relevant contingency plans.

“We expect to make a decision sometime in the middle of April.”

While preparations began to slow this month in Westchester County, an area hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, a shelter-in-place order has forced all but essential personnel to evacuate the grounds. Maintenance crews were among those allowed to continue to work.

“We simply did not want to put anyone at risk,” Annis said. “While construction onsite at Winged Foot has stopped for now, we are continuing to hold the dates for the U.S. Open in June and will monitor all available guidance and regulations from the CDC, WHO and other federal, state and local authorities to do what is in the best interests of the community.”

Golf Courses In The UK Ordered To Close

As the coronavirus continues to tighten its grip on society, golf courses in the United Kingdom are shutting down following an order from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening.

"Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement tonight (23 March), golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close," a statement from England Golf said. "It is England Golf’s position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice.

"Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency. The health and wellbeing of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history."

Tiger's Foundation Offering Free Online Classes

With most schools and daycares closing due to the coronavirus outbreak, Tiger Woods' TGR Foundation is doing its part to help students stay sharp during various levels of quarantine by offering free access to its online learning portal TGR EDU: Explore.

"With the doors to schools and academic institutions closed to stop the spread of COVID-19,  TGR Foundation understands the challenges that students, parents and educators are facing as they navigate the  world of distance learning," the statement read. "The resources offered through our  no-cost  digital platform,TGR EDU: Explore,  will help parents-turned-educators and education professionals  alike  keep students engageduntil schools are back in session and beyond. 

"Lessons engage participants in relevant disciplines and related 21st-century careers, with content ranging from animal ancestry and life science to astronomy, engineering, video game design and more. "

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