The golf calendar has been ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak, with three of the sport’s four majors — the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship — postponed, and The Open cancelled altogether. We can now add the Ryder Cup to that list too.
Now the 2020 Ryder Cup has succumbed and has been rescheduled to take place in September 2021.
Being a tournament where the spectators are known as the 13th member of each team, a Ryder Cup behind closed doors would really be unthinkable.
PGA Tour 2020 Will Also Be Without Fans.
The remaining tournaments on the 2019-20 PGA TOUR schedule announced individually on Monday that they will be played without spectators on site as the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move was not a surprise as all five tournaments since the TOUR returned have been played under the same conditions. Although there were plans to reintroduce spectators in a limited capacity at this week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, those plans were scrapped as numbers spiked across the country.
Each tournament through the season-ending TOUR Championship in Atlanta, Sept. 4-7, will now be played without fans in attendance.
“Ultimately, the decision by the tournament in collaboration with local and state government and health officials and the PGA TOUR to be a spectator-free event was made to ensure the well-being of all involved with the tournament and the Greater Boston community remained the foremost priority,” said a statement put out by THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first FedExCup Playoffs event, Aug. 20-23, that will take the top 125 players from the regular season.
The BMW Championship, which will be the second Playoffs event and take only the top 70, put out a similar statement Monday morning.
“We greatly appreciate the support of BMW, Olympia Fields Country Club and the PGA TOUR in conducting the 2020 BMW Championship,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “We will continue to work with them and follow the recommendations and regulations of county, state and federal officials to ensure the safety of the players, volunteers and staff essential to conducting the BMW Championship.
It will be the same story at the 30-man TOUR Championship.
“These decisions are never easy,” TOUR Championship Executive Director Allison Fillmore 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.
There will similarly be no spectators on site at next week’s 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota; the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis; the Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California; or the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, the last tournament in which players can qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs.
The PGA Championship at San Francisco’s Harding Park, Aug. 6-9, had previously announced it will be played without spectators on the grounds.