The coronavirus outbreak has been classed as a “pandemic” by the world health organisation and it’s already affected the professional golf circuits to the tune of several European Tour events being cancelled, while the PGA Tour cancelled the Players and other upcoming tournaments. So will the Masters be cancelled?
Short answer: No. But it has been postponed.
Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley issued the following statement on Thursday: “Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament.”
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur has also been postponed.
It is the first Masters to be postponed or cancelled since 1945, the last of three Masters called off due to the second world war.
Ridley’s statement continued: “Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread coronavirus Covid-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.
“Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.”
“We will continue to work with the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the City of Augusta and all other local authorities. We are grateful to all of these entities for their exceptional efforts and guidance.
“We recognise this decision will affect many people, including our loyal patrons. Your patience as we make every effort to communicate effectively and efficiently is appreciated, and we will share any additional information as soon as it becomes available.”