The Masters Tournament will be held Nov. 9-15 without patrons in attendance.
The 2020 Masters Tournament will go on, but without patrons.
Augusta National Golf Club made the announcement Wednesday, confirming what Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis predicted last week. The tournament is scheduled for Nov. 9-15.
ANGC announced the postponement of the tournament in March, along with cancellations of the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip & Putt finals.
“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,” club and tournament chairman Fred Ridley said in a release. “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.”
Ridley added that while the decision is disappointing, it’s incumbent upon Augusta National to make safety the top priority when conducting the tournament.
“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,” he said in the release.
“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.”
According to the club, all 2020 ticket holders will be guaranteed the same tickets for the 2021 Masters. The club said it will communicate with all ticket holders and 2021 ticket applicants in September.
Augusta added 1,460 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the two weeks leading up to August 6, bringing the Richmond County total Wednesday to 3,921, which is just under 2% of the population.
Davis, who is not affiliated with the club, said it was looking out for the safety and well-being of all.
“They’re very thoughtful,” he said of the Augusta National. “They’re going to take those necessary precautions to ensure the health, welfare and safety of not just the competitors but also this city.”
Players have weighed in on the move, like 1992 Masters champ Fred Couples, who expects the conditions will make this a tournament like none other.
“I’ve only gone to Augusta once other than getting in there on the Sunday before the Masters and it was the end of November. We teed off at 8 a.m. and I hit driver, 2 iron into the first green. The next day it was cold and windy and I needed a rescue,” Couple said. “So, I’m not sure what the weather will be like in early November, but I will say this, the greens were unreal and as good as any Masters I ever played. The fairways were a little thin, but we’re talking Augusta, usually, it’s an 11 out of a 10 when we play.
“I don’t think it will touch 70 degrees, so it will play extremely long and be a unique situation.”