On Friday morning, the Augusta National Golf Club announced that the 2020 edition of The Masters, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.
A statement from Fred Ridley, Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club:
On Wednesday, March 4, we issued a memo stating that our plans to host the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals had not changed. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.
Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.
We will continue to work with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the City of Augusta and all other local authorities. We are grateful to all of these entities for their exceptional efforts and guidance.
We recognize this decision will affect many people, including our loyal patrons. Your patience as we make every effort to communicate effectively and efficiently is appreciated, and we will share any additional information as soon as it becomes available. Updates also will be posted to our website, Masters.com.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding of this decision and know you share our concern given these trying times. Thank you for your faithful support.
As the Associated Press reports:
The decision comes 12 hours after PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan canceled four tournaments, starting with the final three rounds of The Players Championship and its $15 million purse.
Players already were bracing for the Masters to be canceled as they left the TPC Sawgrass on Friday morning. The virus has a grip on the sporting world, and golf’s decision to cancel — after first wanting to try to playing The Players Championship without fans — was inevitable.
“The world is not coming to an end, but it’s a little reality check,” Kevin Na said. “Golf is not that big of a deal when you look around at what’s going on in the world. I know Masters is being postponed. I think they’re doing the right thing, and I look forward to hopefully playing the Masters later this year.”
Augusta joins the NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, and English Premier League, in suspending play for the next several weeks or months, to stop the spread of the virus.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn