After the 2020 Masters was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, questions have immediately turned to when the Augusta showpiece could be held later in the year.
Organisers of the first major of the year opted to postpone the 2020 Masters, which was due to start on April 9, on the back of the PGA TOUR’s decision to halt all golf through to the Texas Open—the week before the 2020 Masters.
The PGA TOUR cancelled the remaining three rounds of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass last week and the next three weeks of scheduled tournaments as the coronavirus outbreak brought virtually all top level sport to a temporary halt.
Augusta National officials decided to make an early call on the Masters, with chairman Fred Ridley saying: “We hope this puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.
“Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
“The health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision.
“Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread coronavirus have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.
“As coronavirus continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding of this decision and know you share our concern given these trying times.”
See also: PGA TOUR Including THE PLAYERS Championship Shuts Down Over Coronavirus Caution
Coronavirus Causes Players Championship Changes
Players from Italy Caught Up in Coronavirus Incident at Oman Open
How will the 2020 Masters fit into the calendar later in the year? That will be crucial to the prospects of the 2020 Masters being staged rather than cancelled completely.
Of course, coronavirus will determine when golf can return again but also a jam-packed calendar will also make it difficult to find a slot for the Masters should professionals get back on the course later in the year.
The PGA Championship is scheduled to start on May 14 at Harding Park, while the US Open follows the next month at Winged Foot Golf Club from June 18. The Open Championship will be held at Royal St George’s from July 16.
By the time we get to the end of July and start of August, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo occupies the calendar before the focus turns to the season-ending Fed Ex Cup Series to determine the PGA TOUR champion.
Then in September, it is the Ryder Cup that enters focus as the United States and European teams clash at Whistling Straits from September 25.
That leaves very few holes in the calendar—depending when golf can actually return—for the Masters to return to action.
Could it slot in between two of the scheduled majors and replace another tournament at the behest of the USGA? Is October too late for the 2020 Masters? Or will it just be cancelled all together? A decision on the 2020 Masters taking place looks as tricky as winning the major actually is.