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Amid coronavirus concerns, PGA Tour to continue events without fans

March 12, 2020; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addresses the media in a press conference during the first round of the 2020 edition of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Monahan
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced on Thursday that events would continue — without fans — amid concerns over the coronavirus. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced in a press conference at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday afternoon that with concerns over the global coronavirus pandemic, events would continue — without fans — at least through the Valero Texas Open (April 2-5).

The season’s first major — the Masters (not run by the PGA Tour — is the week after Valero.

Monahan held court midway through the day during Round 1 of The Players Championship. Fans were permitted to attend on Thursday, but would not be allowed in beginning on Friday.

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Monahan said, “this is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation,” admitting that things could change.

Here is Monahan’s statement, in full:

Let me preface my remarks by reinforcing that the health and safety of our players, employees, partners, volunteers, fans and everybody associated with the PGA TOUR is our top priority. 

I’ve spoken to President Trump this morning, and I spoke to Governor Ron DeSantis a few hours ago as well. Our team is in constant communication with local health authorities in each market in which our tournaments are played, and we are tracking and monitoring the health information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization in addition to the travel advisories provided by the U.S. State Department. Both the White House and the Governor’s office have been and are supportive of the precautionary measures we have taken to this point.

It goes without saying that this is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation. We have been and are committed to being responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process.

With that as pretext, at this point in time, PGA TOUR events – across all Tours – will currently proceed as scheduled, but will do so without fans. This policy starts at THE PLAYERS Championship tomorrow (Friday) and continues through the Valero Texas Open. It’s important to note, that could change, but for the time being, this decision allows the PGA TOUR, our fans and constituents to plan, prepare and respond as events develop.

Further, the recently announced travel advisories and potential logistical issues associated with players and staff traveling internationally limit our ability to successfully stage the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Therefore, we are going to postpone that event and will provide details in the coming weeks on a reschedule as this situation develops. 

We will continue THE PLAYERS with essential personnel only, and we will be in direct conversations with those groups (vendors, broadcasters, media, player support groups, essential volunteers) to provide instructions.

This is a difficult situation, one with consequences that impact our players, fans and the communities in which we play. As I said earlier this week, we’ve had a team in place that has been carefully monitoring and assessing the situation and its implications for several weeks. We’ve weighed all the options, and I appreciate the input and collaboration across the TOUR, our industry, our partners and our members that got us to this point. We’ll continue with that collaboration, and I want to thank our fans for supporting the PGA TOUR.

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