PGA Tour Announces Events Will Be Played Without Fans Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Signs inform fans that the autograph section has been closed for the rest of the week during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The PGA Tour announced Thursday it will continue to play its 2020 schedule but fans will no longer be allowed to attend the events at least through April 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement he's been in communication with President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, the host state for this weekend's Players Championship:

"With that as pretext, at this point in time, PGA Tour events—across all Tours—will currently proceed as scheduled, but will do so without fans. This policy starts at the Players Championship tomorrow (Friday) and continues through the Valero Texas Open. It's important to note, that could change, but for the time being, this decision allows the PGA Tour, our fans and constituents to plan, prepare and respond as events develop."

The ban on fan attendance covers a minimum of five events:

  • The Players Championship (March 12-15 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)
  • Valspar Championship (March 19-22 in Palm Harbor, Florida)
  • Dell Technologies Match Play (March 25-29 in Austin, Texas)
  • Corales Club Championship (March 26-29 in the Dominican Republic)
  • Valero Texas Open (April 2-5 in San Antonio, Texas)

Last month, the Tour announced it would delay the start of the PGA Tour Series in China because of the coronavirus.

Northern Irish superstar Rory McIlroy said last Friday he'll continue to compete, including in the 2020 Summer Olympics, as long as the events are deemed safe.

"If the organizers and the Olympic Committee believe it's safe enough that athletes can go and compete in the Games, then you have to take their word for it," he told reporters.

The first event scheduled for after the ban on spectators is the 2020 Masters, which is scheduled to begin April 9 with Tiger Woods as the defending champion.

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