2020 US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club to Be Played Without Fans, USGA Says

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2020

In this photo taken Sept. 30, 2014, a golf ball with one of the logos for Chambers Bay, the host course for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, is shown next to a hole on the course in University Place, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The United States Golf Association announced Wednesday the 2020 U.S. Open will be held without fans in attendance from Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York.

USGA CEO Mike Davis released a statement about the decision:

"Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved. We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens."

The tournament was originally scheduled for June 18-21 before getting postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

USGA senior managing director of championships John Bodenhamer explained the group wanted to do everything possible to keep the event at Winged Foot:

"This will not be a typical U.S. Open in several respects. Would it have been easier to simply cancel or even move the 2020 championship rather than play it in what has been the epicenter of the virus in our country? Possibly. But all of us at the USGA know how much the U.S. Open matters, and we weren't willing to give up on playing it at Winged Foot Golf Club so easily. We are very proud to give our competitors and champions a platform to chase their dreams. Their perseverance motivates us, in a year when such tenacity means so much."

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Gary Woodland is the tournament's defending champion after capturing his first major title in the 119th U.S. Open last June at Pebble Beach.

The U.S. Open will be the second of three majors held in 2020 as part of the revamped, condensed schedule. The PGA Championship (Aug. 6-9) will start a Grand Slam slate that will be finished by the Masters (Nov. 12-15), which is going to feature Tiger Woods as the defending champ. The Open Championship was canceled.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour resumed in mid-June after a three-month hiatus.

ESPN's Bob Harig reported on July 20 that seven players and three caddies had tested positive for COVID-19 since the Tour's restart.

There are two events on the schedule this week, the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship, as the final warm-up tournaments before the PGA Championship.

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