The R&A and the European Tour Group have issued separate statements following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away at Balmoral earlier today (September 8) at the age of 96.
Peter Forster, Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, said: “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 His Majesty 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.”
A statement from the European Tour Group said: “On behalf of our members and everyone connected with the European Tour group and the BMW PGA Championship, it is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She truly was an inspiration to people the world over.
“Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast. Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed.
Following discussions with the royal household, and in line with protocols being carried out by other sports organisations, the tournament has been reduced to 54 holes and will restart on Saturday morning, with those who had yet for finish their first rounds doing so from 7.30am, while second round tee times will start at 6.40am. The tournament will finish on Sunday as per the previous schedule, but all the evening entertainment planned for Saturday and Sunday night has been cancelled.
As a mark of respect for the Queen, black ribbons will be made available for people to wear and flags will continue to fly at half-mast. In addition, there will be a two minute silence at 9.50am on Saturday morning at Wentworth to commemorate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the proclamation of King Charles III being shown on the television screens in the Championship Village from 10am.