US Masters To Play Behind Closed Gates

It won’t be a ‘fan-free’ experience because the Masters is always different but there will be no patrons or guests to cheer the US Masters this year when it takes place in November at Augusta.

The Chairman of the Organising Committee Fred Ridley announced on Wednesday that after considering all the evidence and associated risk with bringing golf aficionado’s together in large numbers the decision has been taken to play behind closed doors.

It worked in terms of international competition and TV audiences for the US PGA last weekend and it is likely that the numbers will be record-breaking again when the tournament takes place across November 12th to 15th.

ESPN started an eleven-year deal as the broadcaster on cable of the US PGA and hit the mark with an average viewership of 1.659 million over the four rounds, 60 per cent up on last year on TNT and in addition to the peak audience of 6.873 million that tuned in on free to air CBS on Sunday night.

“Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic,” said Ridley.

“As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.”

“Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.”

“Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing. The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special. Augusta National has the responsibility, however, to understand and accept the challenges associated with this virus and take the necessary precautions to conduct all aspects of the Tournament in a safe manner. We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our patrons back, hopefully in April 2021.”

“We appreciate the support and patience of all those we serve – including the Augusta community, our corporate and broadcast partners and our friends in golf – as we continue to plan for this historic event.”

All 2020 ticket holders will be guaranteed the same tickets for the 2021 Masters. Augusta National will communicate directly with all ticket holders and 2021 ticket applicants in September.

Image Credit: US Masters Editorial

Similar Articles