Rescheduled Masters to be staged without fans
The rescheduled 2020 Masters, one of golf's most prestigious events, will take place behind closed doors due to the ongoing threat caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
There will be no fans or guests at the major, which will be held from 12 to 15 November at its traditional home of Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, it was confirmed yesterday.
The tournament had originally been scheduled for 9 to 12 April, but was postponed in March as the virus spread worldwide.
It means that all three US-based majors this season will take place without fans - the PGA Championship in San Francisco did so last weekend and the US Open in New York in mid-September will do so.
Fred Ridley, Augusta National’s chairman, said: “Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November were simply too significant to overcome.
“Augusta National has the responsibility to understand and accept the challenges associated with the virus and… conduct all aspects of the tournament in a safe manner.”
He said that the club looked forward to welcoming fans back “hopefully in April 2021”, and added “even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing.”
In a statement, the club said all ticket-holders for this year’s event would have the same tickets transferred to 2021.
Elsewhere, the KLPGA, the South Korean women’s tour, has had to cancel another event in the 2020 season, because of title sponsors pulling out due to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic, according to the Yonhap news agency.
The KG-Edaily Ladies Open, set for 4 to 6 September in the city of Yongin, has now been removed from the tour’s schedule, as both title partners have pulled out.
It becomes the fourth event from the tour’s August and September schedule to be cancelled in recent weeks, with the HighOne Resort Ladies Open, the Hanwha Classic, and the All for You Renoma Championship all being cut last month because of key sponsors withdrawing.
The KLPGA’s current season began in December 2019, but the next event did not take place until May this year as the virus spread.
The remaining schedule now features two tournaments in September, four in October and two more in November.