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Coronavirus Pandemic: PGA TOUR Shuts Down

The PGA TOUR has taken the decision to cancel THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass, and all events through to the Masters due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

All upcoming PGA TOUR events postponed

Having initially intimated that THE PLAYERS Championship would be played behind closed doors from Friday, a subsequent decision from the PGA TOUR has opted to postpone the event and all upcoming tournaments through to the Masters at Augusta.

That will include the Valspar Championship and Texas Open, along with other events on all PGA TOURs, and casts serious doubts over whether the Masters—the first major of the year—will go ahead on its planned start date of April 2.

“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship,” the PGA TOUR said in a statement announcing the news. “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.”

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The decision comes as sporting events across the world are cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Already, the European Tour is currently in an eight-week break having seen events like the Kenya Open, Indian Open and Maybank Championship all cancelled with the next scheduled tournament not taking place until the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama in Spain on April 30.

The LPGA Tour’s next three tournaments are also off, one of which was the first major of the year the ANA Inspiration in California on Masters weekend. The LPGA say they are “fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule.”

Masters is up in the air as seriousness grows

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley had earlier said in a statement last week that any decision over the Masters was an ongoing conversation, but the PGA TOUR decision may now have some more bearing on the likelihood of the major taking place.

“The safety, health and well-being of everyone is our top priority at Augusta National Golf Club,” he said. “Based upon our knowledge of the situation at this time, we are proceeding as scheduled for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals, and the Masters Tournament.”

Other sports, such as the NBA are on hiatus as well

It is not just the golfing calendar that is being affected, however, with the NBA season postponed indefinitely after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus. The NCAA spring championships are also off.

The NHL season is also on hold, while the start of the MLB season is likely to be pushed back ahead of its planned April opening games. The opening Formula 1 race of the season in Australia is also not taking place this weekend.

Soccer leagues across the world are either postponed while the pandemic is ongoing or games are being played behind closed doors, although for the time being the Premier League remains business as usual.

However, the Euro 2020 summer championships is set to be pushed back a year and take place in 2021 according to reports.