The Augusta National club has decided to postpone the Masters Tournament, another blow to the calendar of sporting events this spring due to the spread of the coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, the ever increasing risks associated with the spread of the coronavirus have prompted us to make a decision that will no doubt be disappointing for many, even if I am convinced that this is appropriate in these unique circumstances”, said the president of the Tournament of Masters, Fred Ridley, in a statement.
The tournament was scheduled to take place from April 9 to 12.
Ridley said he hoped the move would allow the Augusta National club to host the Masters Tournament and its two other amateur events “at a later date” under better circumstances.
However, he gave no indication when the event could be rescheduled. The private club traditionally closes in May and only opens to its members in October.
The move came 12 hours after PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan canceled four tournaments, starting with the last three rounds of the US $ 15 million PGA players’ championship.
The players were already preparing for the cancellation of the Masters Tournament by leaving the TPC Sawgrass on Friday morning. The virus had serious consequences for the sports world, and the decision of golf leaders to cancel – after first trying to play the players’ championship behind closed doors – was inevitable.
“It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a little reality check,” said Kevin Na. Golf is not that important when you look at what’s going on in the world. I know that the Masters Tournament is postponed. I think they made the right decision, and I look forward to playing this tournament later this year. ”
The NBA and the NHL have suspended their seasons indefinitely. Major Baseball has postponed the start of its season, and one of the most significant events playing in the United States was the NCAA basketball tournament – the March Madness – which captivated the country for three weeks. The championship match takes place on Monday evening before the Masters Tournament.
The Masters Tournament ends in April every year since 1935 – the first tournament was held in late March – except when it was canceled from 1943 to 1945 due to the Second World War.
The club is also hosting an important female amateur tournament which ends on Saturday before the Masters Tournament, and Sunday is reserved for the finals of tee shots, approach shots and putts for the young people who qualify all year round. year across the country.
No other golf tournament gets better ratings than the Masters Tournament, the only major tournament held on the same course each year.
Ticket prices are among the cheapest of major sporting events – $ 375 this year for a Thursday to Sunday ticket. The club derives a large part of its revenues unrelated to broadcasting rights from its shops.
The next major competition is expected to be the PGA Championship in San Francisco from May 14-17, and the PGA of America is already considering scenarios if it’s not safe to play it.