2020 Masters to be Played Without Spectators
It's the news that most expected, but Augusta National Golf Club Chairman, Fred Ridley has confirmed that this year's delayed Masters Tournament will be played without spectators or guests in attendance, making for an eerie atmosphere down Magnolia Lane.
Releasing a new statement, breaking a lengthy silence from the club, Ridley said: “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. 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.
“Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.
“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. 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.
“We appreciate the support and patience of all those we serve – including the Augusta community, our corporate and broadcast partners and our friends in golf – as we continue to plan for this historic event.”
(No Patrons at Augusta This Year)
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first men's major of the year was postponed in March, with a new date established for November 12–15, a mere five months ahead of the 2021 edition, uniquely making the Masters both the final major of 2020 and the first of 2021.
Indeed, spectators who had tickets for this year will be guaranteed the same access in 2021, ensuring they don't miss out on that dream opportunity to walk the fabled course, assuming circumstances allow during these extraordinary times.
The invited field of 96 was set in April, with subsequent qualifiers making it through to the 2021 Masters.
Despite the golf world becoming accustomed to events being played behind closed doors, including the recent US PGA Championship, the idea of a quiet Masters is surreal, where the roars and sound generated by the gallery is such an integral part of the spectacle.
When you also consider that added to the autumnal glisten we'll see from Augusta National, this November will be a Masters that none of us will forget.
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