Confirming rumors that began to spread last week, Augusta National Golf Club announced Wednesday that the 2020 Masters Tournament will take place November 9-15 without patrons or guests on the grounds of the hallowed golf club. The tournament, postponed from its traditional April dates due to the coronvairus, had hoped to allow spectators but the logistics simply wouldn’t work out.
“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,” Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club Fred Ridley said in a release posted to the tournament’s website. “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.”
Those who purchased tickets to the 2020 event will be able to receive the same tickets for the 2021 event, with their 2020 payment rolling forward for the new tickets. Those who do not wish to attend the event in 2021 that purchased through the tournament organizers can request a refund. Anyone who purchased from a vendor besides Augusta National Golf Club should contact their point of purchase to determine their options.
This decision means that none of golf’s “Major” tournaments will be played in front of spectators this year. The Open was cancelled entirely, while the PGA Championship and U.S. Open will go off for television broadcast but empty grounds.