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PGA Tour won’t allow fans for foreseeable future due to coronavirus

Fans make their way around the course during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Sam Greenwood | Getty Images

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced Thursday that The Players Tournament in Ponte Verda, Florida and all tournaments in the near future will go on as planned, but without spectators due to the spread of the coronavirus. The policy goes into effect Friday.

The commissioner said he spoke with President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier Thursday and is in constant communication with local health officials.

“It goes without saying that this is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation,” Monahan said. “We have been and are committed to being responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process.”

The new policy continues through the Valero Texas Open in San Antonion, Texas that ends on April 5. The Tour also announced the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship will be postponed as a result of travel advisories issued. It was originally schedule for March 26 through 29 in Punta Cana, Mexico.

“This is a difficult situation, one with consequences that impact our players, fans and the communities in which we play,” Monahan said. 

The commissioner appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box earlier this week and said that the PGA Tour was relying on its team of experts, including the CDC and WHO, to make a decision on future tournaments.

“We have leaders within our company that are pouring ourselves into this. Given the fact that we are playing all over the world and it’s an Olympic year. You have to rely on what’s happening on the ground in that marketplace,” he said. 

Florida has 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and two people in the state have died from the virus. 

The PGA Tour is the latest professional sports organization to announce a change due to coronavirus.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that games will be played without fans in stadiums. Only team staff and family members will be allowed to attend.

Thursday’s announcement comes the same week the Tour announced a nine-year media deal worth an estimated $700 million per year

The LPGA recently held the Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament in Okinawa without spectators. That is believed to be the first professional golf event to be played in its entirety without spectators.

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