The remainder of the PGA Tour schedule will be played without fans because of concerns regarding COVID-19. The affected tournaments announced separately on Monday they will not be allowing galleries or pro-ams at their events.
There are eight remaining PGA Tour events beginning with this week’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, and ending with the Tour Championship, Sept. 4-7 at Eastlake Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia.
The PGA Tour returned from a 12-week hiatus because of the COVID-19 global pandemic on June 11, but without fans as a safety precaution.
Officials at the Memorial Tournament planned on being the first event back with fans, but the PGA Tour nixed the idea last week. The tour cited the rapidly changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease has claimed the lives of 137,000 Americans and afflicted a total of 3.37 million in the US.
PGA Tour Protecting Players
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says not having fans at golf tournaments may be upsetting to some, but the move will ultimately keep professional golfers safer.
Tournament officials reacted with disappointment. Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments for the Aug. 27 BMW Championship, said he understands the decision.
“Our BMW Championship team has been working tirelessly over the past several months to develop a comprehensive plan for a limited number of spectators, following guidance from the PGA TOUR and county and state officials,” Pellegrino said. “However, we understand the challenges and concerns that COVID-19 has created, and recognize the decision to proceed without spectators is in the best interest of everyone involved.”
Tour Championship executive director Allison Fillmore said in a statement her team will make the best of the situation.
“These decisions are never easy,” Fillmore said. “We are still very excited about showcasing the world’s 30-best players and the City of Atlanta to a global television audience, and continuing our mission of raising funds and awareness for the East Lake Foundation and all of our charitable beneficiaries.”
No Galleries at PGA Championship
This decision not to have fans at PGA Tour events doesn’t affect major championships. Officials at the Aug. 6 PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco, already made the decision to ban fans from attending. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state recorded 8,358 new cases of the disease on Sunday. As a result, he ordered all bars, indoor restaurants, movie theaters, and card rooms closed immediately.
Officials at The Open Championship, scheduled for July 16-19, made the decision in April to cancel the tournament, citing COVID-19 concerns as the cause.
The two remaining majors have not yet made a decision on whether they will allow fans. The US Open, postponed from June 18-21 to Sept. 17-20, remains at Winged Foot Country Club in Mamaroneck, New York. The Masters, originally scheduled for April 9-12 at Augusta National in Georgia, is now set for Nov. 12-15. Officials for those events haven’t yet decided if fans will be allowed to attend.