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PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament abandons plan to have limited spectators

The PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament will now be held without spectators next week due to the rapidly changing dynamics of the global Covid-19 pandemic, it has been announced.

The Memorial – which will be staged at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, on July 16-19 – had been scheduled to be the first event on the men’s golf circuit to allow fans following approval by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

The move has come following an uptick of coronavirus cases in the state of Ohio, as well as nationally, in recent days. The tournament has also canceled the Wednesday pro-am.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement: “Given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our Return to Golf — the health and safety of all involved. While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right.”

Tournament director Dan Sullivan added: “While we embraced the opportunity to be the first PGA Tour event to welcome the return of on-site fans – and be a part of our nation’s collective reemergence from the Covid-19 crisis – we recognize the current increase in positive Covid-19 cases across the country and our ultimate responsibility. It’s disappointing to the many who have tirelessly worked to create a plan for on-site patrons, but I’m confident the learnings from these efforts will contribute to golf’s continued success, and we’re excited to showcase Muirfield Village Golf Club – and ultimately, the Memorial Tournament – to our fans over the next two weeks.”

This week, Muirfield Village is holding the Workday Charity Open, a one-time event that replaces the John Deere Classic, which was canceled due to the health crisis. No spectators are allowed.

More widely, the PGA Tour has implemented heightened health and safety protocols and is planning increased enforcement for violations following the incidence of positive coronavirus tests and player withdrawals in recent weeks.

It remains unclear when fans will be allowed at PGA Tour events.