It will look different and we don’t know how the blooming schedule of the famous Azalea and Magnolias can be re-engineered but a new date has been set for the US Masters to take place between November 12th and 15th.
The dates are a part of an ambitious reboot of the PGA Tour schedule announced last night and which sees the retention of the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin between September 22nd and 27th, the US Open rescheduled to the week before that at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York State, and the US PGA at Harding Park in San Francisco between August 3rd and 9th.
The changes came off the back of the cancellation of the Open Championship in England announced earlier in the day and carried as part of our 4@4 yesterday.
Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA came together to issue the following joint statement about the rescheduled events.
“This is a difficult and challenging time for everyone coping with the effects of this pandemic. We remain very mindful of the obstacles ahead, and each organization will continue to follow the guidance of the leading public health authorities, conducting competitions only if it is safe and responsible to do so.”
“In recent weeks, the global golf community has come together to collectively put forward a calendar of events that will, we hope, serve to entertain and inspire golf fans around the world. We are grateful to our respective partners, sponsors and players, who have allowed us to make decisions – some of them, very tough decisions – in order to move the game and the industry forward.”
“We want to reiterate that Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA collectively value the health and well-being of everyone, within the game of golf and beyond, above all else. We encourage everyone to follow all responsible precautions and make effort to remain healthy and safe.”
This was followed by Fred Riley of the Augusta National issuing this statement:
“On March 13, we announced the postponement of the Masters Tournament and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur based upon the risks associated with the Coronavirus COVID-19, a pandemic that continues to impact lives everywhere.”
“We remain very mindful of the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges presented by the Coronavirus around the world. As such, we continue to keep in close contact with local, state and national health authorities to help inform our decisions.”
“In collaboration with the leading organizations in golf, Augusta National Golf Club has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters. While more details will be shared in the weeks and months to come, we, like all of you, will continue to focus on all mandated precautions and guidelines to fight against the Coronavirus. Along the way, we hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport.”
“We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favourable counsel and direction from health officials. Provided that occurs and we can conduct the 2020 Masters, we intend to invite those professionals and amateurs who would have qualified for our original April date and welcome all existing ticket holders to enjoy the excitement of Masters week.”
“After careful consideration and following an extensive review process, we also have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Ultimately, the many scheduling challenges with NCAA tournaments, the World Amateur Team Championships, the LPGA Q-Series and other events when women’s amateur golf resumes led to this decision.”
“Each player who accepted an invitation for the 2020 championship will be invited to compete in the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, provided she remains an amateur. Also, those who purchased tickets will be sent a refund in May and given the opportunity to purchase tickets for the event next year. We thank everyone for their understanding of this decision, and we look forward to the championship returning in full strength next spring.”
Will we be clear of Coronavirus in time for this schedule to be possible? Who knows. Whatever point at which we return to free movement around our own countries, the idea of overseas travel will surely be a bit longer after that.
Still, it is good to have a horizon to look to and all we can do is hope that the public health situation will be better in order to let it happen as outlined.