Due to concerns over the coronavirus, just before 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, the PGA Tour announced via its official Twitter account, “It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship and all events through the Valero Texas Open.”
It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship and all events through the Valero Texas Open. https://t.co/r01TeB83yK
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 13, 2020
At noon on Thursday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the Tour’s flagship event at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, would go on — without fans — beginning on Friday, as would all other events through the Valero Texas Open (April 2-5).
Monahan did admit, however, that it was a fluid situation and things could change.
Not long after the presser, several college basketball conference tournaments were canceled before the NCAA announced the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The NHL also announced it was suspending its season, following a similar statement from the NBA on Wednesday night when Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the viral disease, and the LPGA did the same, canceling at least its next three events, including the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration.
It seemed only a matter of time before the PGA Tour would follow suit.
The first round of the Players was suspended due to darkness Thursday evening, with most of the field having completed the round led by Hideki Matsuyama’s 9-under 63.
Hours later, the round was a wash with the announcement that the tournament — and all PGA Tour events — would be canceled through the Valero Texas Open. That means the next golf event on the calendar would be the season’s first major: the Masters at Augusta National.
Though no announcement has come down just yet, it would seem the Masters is very much in jeopardy.
Here’s the Tour’s official statement on the cancellation of events:
It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship.
We have also decided to cancel all PGA TOUR events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.
We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point – and as the situation continues to rapidly change – the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.
We will be prepared to answer additional questions on Friday at 8 a.m.
On Friday morning, Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley announced that the Masters would be postponed:
Statement from Chairman Ridley:
— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020
It’s still a fluid situation, but as of now, there will not be PGA Tour golf until April 16 at the earliest. That would be the first round of the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.