Augusta, Ga. mayor Hardie Davis expressed doubt at a press conference that the venerable tournament would be able to allow fans, though no official decision has been made as of Friday afternoon.
“Tomorrow, the PGA Championship begins at Harding Park without fans, and that’s likely what will probably happen here in Augusta, where we’ll have the tournament without fans,” he told reporters Wednesday.
The Masters, which traditionally plays as the of the PGA Tour’s four “major” tournaments in April, was rescheduled to November due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tournament officials at Augusta National Golf Course have not discussed plans related to fan attendance for the tournament since its rescheduling.
“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,” Masters chairman Fred Ridley said in April. “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.”
At the time, Ridley noted: “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable 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.”
This weekend’s PGA Championship in San Francisco is being conducted with no fans, and the U.S. Open in September will also go on without fans. The fourth major – The Open (also commonly referred to as the British Open) has been cancelled entirely.
When asked about the mayor’s comments, a representative of Augusta National opted not to comment for Golfworld.