Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma. (twitter photo)

LONDON — The 149th Open Championship has been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers was quoted as saying by BBC: "We have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible."

The meet was due to take place in July in Kent, but will now be hosted by the venue in 2021.

Since World War II (1940-45), it is the first time The Open has been canceled.

Earlier, the Masters and the PGA Championship were both delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The United States Golf Association is expected to announce a decision on staging the tournament soon.

The entire sporting calendar has come to a grinding halt, with most of the events getting postponed or canceled, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Open, which started in 1860, was also previously not held from 1915 to 1919 because of World War I, said the BBC report.

The only other previous cancellation came in 1871 when no trophy was available because Tom Morris Jr was allowed to keep the Challenge Belt for winning the tournament three times in a row.

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