Despite most of the sports world shutting down due to coronavirus, the PGA Tour decided to play the first round of The Players Championship on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass, and with fans in attendance. Commissioner Jay Monahan announced on Thursday morning that the golf would continue, but without fans in attendance beginning Friday.
Statement from PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan: pic.twitter.com/Ilh5hRNNGd
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) March 12, 2020
Naturally, the decision to play drew plenty of reaction.
And on Thursday night, the PGA Tour finally decided to just cancel The Players Championship, a $15 million tournament. Additionally, the next three PGA events are canceled: the Vaspar Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship, and the Valero Texas Open.
It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship and all events through the Valero Texas Open. https://t.co/r01TeB83yK
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 13, 2020
Here’s the PGA Tour’s official statement:
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship.
We have also decided to cancel all PGA TOUR events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.
We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. 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.
We will be prepared to answer additional questions on Friday at 8 a.m.”
The tournament after the now-canceled Valero Texas Open (April 2-5) would be the Masters, currently scheduled for April 9-12.
Update: The Masters has been postponed.
Statement from Chairman Ridley:
— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020