Updated April 6, 4:42 PM CT
March 22, 2020
PGA Tour cancels more events
The PGA Tour announced that it is canceling all tournaments through the PGA Championship, which was expected to be played May 14-17, due to concerns with the coronavirus.
The decision means that the following tournaments now have been called off: the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina; Zurich Classic of New Orleans; Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte; and AT&T Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas.
In a separate announcement, the PGA of America postponed the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park until a later date, just as Augusta National announced for the Masters on Friday, meaning neither of the first two majors of the golf season will go off as planned.
The Tour’s announcement comes five days after it scrapped the Players Championship after one round and also said that the Valspar Championship in Tampa, WGC Dell Matchplay in Austin and Valero Texas Open in San Antonio would be canceled.
As a result, the Charles Schwab Challenge, scheduled for May 21-24, is the earliest the Tour could play again.
“As we receive more clarity in the coming weeks, the Tour will be working with our tournament organizations and title sponsors, in collaboration with golf’s governing bodies, to build a PGA Tour schedule for 2020 that ensures the health and safety for all associated with our sport and a meaningful conclusion to the season. We will provide further updates when those plans come into focus,” the Tour said in its press release.
The announcement also means that two more PGA Tour Champions events have been wiped out too: the Mitsubishi Electric Classic in Atlanta, Insperity Invitational in Houston and The Tradition in Birmingham, which was originally slated for May 7-10 will now be played September 24-27.
PGA Tour Champions previously announced on March 16 that the Mastercard Japan Championship (June 12-14) will not be contested due to the current travel advisories in place from the CDC, the WHO and the U.S. Department of State.
The following events on the Korn Ferry Tour are also canceled: the Veritex Bank Championship in Dallas, Huntsville Championship in Alabama, Nashville Golf Open, Digital Ally Open in Overland Park, Kansas, while Savannah Golf Championship and the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville have been postponed.
The RBC Heritage, the first PGA Tour event on the schedule after the now-postponed Masters, has announced it will begin issuing refunds for tickets.
“We certainly feel this is the right decision to make for the health and safety of everyone,” said RBC Heritage Tournament Director Steve Wilmot. “We remained optimistic as long as we could knowing the event generates more than $3 million dollars a year for local charities and has a yearly economic impact of $102 million for the state of South Carolina.”
The AT&T Bryon Nelson, which was to be held May 7-10, has also said it will refund tickets.
March 13, 2020
PGA shuts down
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan made an announcement this morning that the PGA Championship, as well as the next three events on the PGA tour schedule, were canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Monahan said the $7.5Mil purse for the Players Championship would be evenly distributed amongst all the players.
C.T. Pan, who withdrew from the tournament early Thursday, prior to the start of play amid COVID-19 concerns, would not be part of the pay-out. "He didn't play," Monahan said.
Pan earned his first Tour win last year at the RBC Heritage, the highlight of a breakthrough season that led to his first Presidents Cup spot. He was slated to tee off at 2:02 p.m. ET alongside Adam Long and Si Woo Kim, but he shared in a Twitter reply to fellow Tour pro Zac Blair Thursday afternoon that he had “already left hours ago” and wasn’t planning to play.
Players were notified via text at about 9:50 p.m. ET Thursday that the tournament had been scrapped because of the "rapidly changing situation" regarding COVID-19. In a follow-up text, the Tour said that the next three events (Valspar Championship, WGC-Dell Match Play, and the Valero Texas Open) were also canceled.
The next tournament on the schedule is the Masters. The Masters is not controlled by the PGA, it's an independent entity as are the The Open, and the US Open. The Masters is scheduled to begin April 9.
“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process,” the Tour said in a statement. “We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event through 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.”
The Players Championship is the Tour’s premier event and features a $15 million purse, the richest prize in golf.
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