Masters postponed until later date over coronavirus

First Major of the golfing year was due to be held at Augusta National in early April

Tiger Woods during the final round of the 2019 Masters at Augusta National. Photograph: Getty Images

Tiger Woods during the final round of the 2019 Masters at Augusta National. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Augusta National Golf Club announced on Friday that this year’s Masters has been postponed because of concerns about the coronavirus. The tournament was scheduled to run from April 9th-12th.

The club said it hopes the postponement will allow it to host the event safely at a later date.

“Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus Covid-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement.

The decision by Augusta National comes a day after the PGA Tour cancelled this week’s Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and all events until April 5th, the Sunday before the Masters was due to start.

Ridley also said the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the three-pronged junior skills competition known as the Drive, Chip and Putt competition that all led into the Masters have also been postponed.

“Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision,” said Ridley.

“We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.”

Tiger Woods is the defending Masters champion after snapping an 11-year wait for his 15th Major title when he came from behind to win by one shot last April.

Last week, Ridley said the Masters would proceed as scheduled and that precautions would be established to ensure the safety of everyone following the coronavirus outbreak.

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