The opening round of the DP World Tour’s BMW PGA Championship, being held 40 kilometres southwest of London in Virginia Water, England, was suspended for the day on Thursday evening following the news that Queen Elizabeth II had died at age 96.
Thirty of the 144 players in the field still had holes left to close out the first round at Wentworth Club, where Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Viktor Hovland shared the lead after posting eight-under 64s.
What happens next for the DP World Tour’s flagship event is unclear in terms of when, or if, the tournament will resume. Earlier in the day, when news that the Queen’s health was in question, the DP World Tour released the following statement:
“Understandably, a number of you have asked about the current situation relating to Her Majesty the Queen. In line with all major sporting events we have protocols in place, but we will be guided in all of this by Buckingham Palace, hence we will only share these protocols when it is appropriate to do so. We will keep you updated.”
After announcing the suspension of play, tour officials said they would be providing further guidance shortly.
In the wake of the Queen’s death, Peter Forster, captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, released a statement through the club:
“We are greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty today. Following her accession in 1952, Her late Majesty graciously accepted the Patronage of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, as has been the custom of reigning Monarchs since HM King William IV in 1834.
“Although not a golfer, Her late Majesty’s 70-year patronage of the Club was a great honour for its Members.
“We hold His Majesty The King and all The Royal Family in our thoughts at this time of mourning.”