The inevitable has happened. The largest event in the global sporting calendar, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021. The news has come due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is big news, and especially for golf (but more of that later). To put it into perspective, this is the first time the Games will be postponed in their 124-year history.
Japan’s Prime Minster Shinzo Abe asked the Games to be postponed in a phone call with IOC President Thomas Bach.
The PM’s Office of Japan wrote on social media:
“After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021”
Golf's image was highlighted to the sporting world with its second appearance at the Games since 1904. Four years ago in Rio, when Justin Rose won a historic gold medal for Great Britain, it was an extremely big moment for golf on the world stage - a real step forward.
However, the 2016 Games were not without controversy either. In the lead up to the Games another epidemic threatened its running - the now seemingly insignificant Zika Virus. Due to the Zika Virus, some of golf's biggest stars such as Rory McIlroy decided not to play.
The 2016 Games went ahead and the golfing world watched with pleasure. The three eventual male medal winners: Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson represented the sport to the world well, inevitability lifting expectations to the next level for what could have been an unbelievable 'major-like' 2020 playing of Golf at the Olympics.
This year, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were both due to tee it up in Tokyo, having openly expressed their desires to try and qualify for their national teams, as well as a whole host of other world golf stars.
This is yet another blow for the world of golf in such uncertain times for our beautiful game, as it follows The Masters and USPGA Championship, which were pushed back earlier this month. There are also rumours circulating around the 2020 Ryder Cup being postponed too, but this yet to be confirmed.
Which major will be next? The Open? The US Open? Or even the Ryder Cup...
It's likely the US Open will be next to go as New York is the hardest-hit state in the USA, with well over 20,000 cases of COVID-19 currently.
At the moment it all seems very negative but fingers crossed we will see some of the world's best golfers return to our screens before the 2020 season is over. I repeat, fingers crossed.