Remaining PGA Tour events will not host fans
By Bill Pennington
The remainder of the PGA Tour schedule this season will be played without spectators after the organizers of four tournaments announced earlier this week that they would close their events to the public.
“Our No. 1 priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities where we are invited,” Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief of tournaments, said in a statement Monday, attributing the decision to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The organizers for the Wyndham Championship and the three tournaments that make up the FedEx Cup playoffs each released a separate statement Monday announcing the decision.
“These decisions are never easy,” Allison Fillmore, the executive director of the Tour Championship, said in a statement, “and we would like to thank the City of Atlanta and PGA Tour headquarters for their extensive collaboration as we arrived at what was the best decision for all involved with the Tour Championship and the community.”
The Tour Championship, scheduled for Sept. 4-7 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, is set to be the last event of the playoffs, which in normal years are contested after golf’s major tournaments and feature the PGA Tour’s largest purses.
Several other PGA Tour events are scheduled in the next four months, and it is unlikely that any of them will welcome fans. The Memorial Tournament, which begins Thursday and will feature Tiger Woods, had received clearance from health officials to welcome about 8,000 fans daily to the Muirfield Village course in Dublin, Ohio, but scrapped those plans last week as confirmed cases of the virus spiked in the state and around the country.
The announcements do not directly affect the three major golf championships remaining this year. The PGA Championship, scheduled for San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park, had already said it would be contested without fans. The U.S. Open, conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and set for Sept. 17-20 at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y., has not yet revealed whether it will host fans at its tournament. The USGA has considered allowing a limited number of spectators to the event or holding the event without fans.
The Masters, scheduled for Nov. 12-15 in Augusta, Ga., has also not committed to having fans — or prohibiting them.