Augusta National Golf Club has announced that the rescheduled Masters tournament will be held without spectators or guests in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
It means that all three men’s golf majors this year will be held without spectators, following the PGA Championship and US Open. The PGA Tour will also close out its revised 2019-20 schedule without any fans.
The Masters was originally scheduled for April 9-12. Traditionally, it is the first men’s golf major championship of the year and has never been held outside of March or April since its inception in 1934. It will now be held on November 12-15.
“Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said.
The players have openly said they will miss having fans at the golf major.
”Part of the allure and kind of majesty of Augusta National is the patrons,” American Brandt Snedeker said. ”You have that electricity from the first moment on Thursday morning to the last putt goes in on Sunday night on every hole. It’s not just on the back nine – it’s on every hole. So to not have that there is going to be a different feeling.”
Former Masters champion Zach Johnson told ESPN: “I really can’t fathom it, but that being said, I can’t fathom not having the Masters tournament this year. “It’s unfortunate…We would love to have fans out there. There’s an entertainment value in our product, in our game, in our sport that’s immense, and it’s fun knowing there’s energy out there. You want that energy…The relation there with the fans is much more intimate, and I want it back sooner than later.”
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals have already been canceled.