The remaining tournaments on the 2019-20 PGA TOUR schedule announced individually on Monday that they will be played without spectators on site as the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move was not a surprise as all five tournaments since the TOUR returned have been played under the same conditions. Although there were plans to reintroduce spectators in a limited capacity at this week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, those plans were scrapped as numbers spiked across the country.
Each tournament through the season-ending TOUR Championship in Atlanta, Sept. 4-7, will now be played without fans in attendance.
“Ultimately, the decision by the tournament in collaboration with local and state government and health officials and the PGA TOUR to be a spectator-free event was made to ensure the well-being of all involved with the tournament and the Greater Boston community remained the foremost priority,” said a statement put out by THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first FedExCup Playoffs event, Aug. 20-23, that will take the top 125 players from the regular season.
The BMW Championship, which will be the second Playoffs event and take only the top 70, put out a similar statement Monday morning.
“We greatly appreciate the support of BMW, Olympia Fields Country Club and the PGA TOUR in conducting the 2020 BMW Championship,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “We will continue to work with them and follow the recommendations and regulations of county, state and federal officials to ensure the safety of the players, volunteers and staff essential to conducting the BMW Championship.
“Our BMW Championship team has been working tirelessly over the past several months to develop a comprehensive plan for a limited number of spectators, following guidance from the PGA TOUR and county and state officials,” Pellegrino added. “However, we understand the challenges and concerns that COVID-19 has created and recognize the decision to proceed without spectators is in the best interest of everyone involved.”
It will be the same story at the 30-man TOUR Championship.
“These decisions are never easy,” TOUR Championship Executive Director Allison Fillmore said in a statement, “and we would like to thank the City of Atlanta and PGA TOUR headquarters for their extensive collaboration as we arrived at what was the best decision for all involved with the TOUR Championship and the community.
“We are still very excited about showcasing the world’s 30 best players and the City of Atlanta to a global television audience and continuing our mission of raising funds and awareness for the East Lake Foundation and all of our charitable beneficiaries.”
There will similarly be no spectators on site at next week’s 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota; the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis; the Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California; or the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, the last tournament in which players can qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs.
The PGA Championship at San Francisco’s Harding Park, Aug. 6-9, had previously announced it will be played without spectators on the grounds.
Source: PGA tour