The PGA Tour stated Thursday it was canceling The Players Championship and at the least three subsequent tournaments — following the lead of almost each different main sports activities league within the U.S. in calling off competitions amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship,” the tour stated in a press release. “We have also decided to cancel all PGA TOUR events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.”
Also shut down have been the Valspar Championship scheduled for subsequent week close to Tampa, Fla., the Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas, and the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
The shock determination got here roughly 10 hours after commissioner Jay Monahan initially stated the Players Championship — thought of golf’s fifth main — would go on as scheduled this weekend close to Jacksonville, Fla., however with out followers.
“PGA TOUR events – across all Tours – will currently proceed as scheduled, but will do so without fans,” Monahan stated earlier within the day.
The Players Championship, held yearly on the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass attracts 1000’s of followers from world wide to observe golf’s most well-known gamers compete on one of many sport’s greatest phases. Fans and gamers had already participated within the first spherical of the match in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., however will now need to make different plans and journey preparations.
The Valero Open was to be the final match earlier than the Masters, which is set to start in April.
“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process,” the tour added. “We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point – and as the situation continues to rapidly change – the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”
When requested why play was initially allowed when different sports activities had shut down altogether, Monahan cited the outside atmosphere.
“If you have a look at our venues, clearly we’re an out of doors sport, we’re not in a stadium, and right here this week at TPC Sawgrass our gamers are making their approach over 400 acres,” Monahan instructed reporters Thursday.
“You’ve obtained 144 gamers right here and over the course of a spherical our gamers typically do socially distance themselves, we felt like by taking this step to deal with the issue with our followers, we’re ready the place we are able to proceed to function the occasions as of proper now. There are different circumstances that led to the selections that these leagues made which might be distinctive to these leagues that we’re not at the moment confronted with.”
Monahan stated he spoke with President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier than the unique fan ban was made. He stated they have been supportive of the precautionary measures taken.
“This is a tough state of affairs, one with penalties that influence our gamers, followers and the communities by which we play,” Monahan added. “We’ve had a group in place that has been rigorously monitoring and assessing the state of affairs and its implications for a number of weeks. We’ve weighed all of the choices”
Golfer Rory McIlroy stated it was a “scary time” and that the tour made a step in the suitable course by eliminating followers. But he stated it will take just one participant or caddie to check optimistic for the virus for the tour to go to the following step.
“We need to shut it down then,” he stated with out hesitation. “I think for us to keep playing on tour, we all — the tour players and people that are involved — need to get tested.”