18 March 2020: The mayhem surrounding the spread of Corona Virus continued to wreak havoc on the sports calendar. In the wake of a series of high profile suspension or cancellation of events, the PGA Championship joined the list of events pushed from their existing slot on the calendar. The announcement comes just days after the Augusta National Golf Club announced their decision to postpone the Masters scheduled for the Easter week.
In other sports, football witnessed the postponement of Euro 2020 to next year even as leagues around Europe struggled to manage their schedules. The French Open in tennis announced September dates after suspending the regular schedule in May.
The avalanche in golf started with the European Tour and Asian Tour suspending their calendars, before the PGA TOUR cancelled their flagship Players Championship at the end of the first round. The TOUR announced a series of cancellations which stretch all the way to the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The USGA, while forced to cancel several qualifiers, remained stoic about the US Open, scheduled to be played at the Winged Foot Golf Club from June 18 – 21.
The PGA Championship is hosted by TPC Harding Park in San Fransisco, an area in the USA that has been severely impacted by the Corona Virus. The event was scheduled to be played between May 11 – 17. Brooks Koepka is the two time defending champion of the second major on the golfing calendar.
“Throughout our evaluation process, we have been committed to following the guidance of public health authorities and given the coronavirus shelter-in-place order in effect in San Francisco, postponement is the best decision for all involved,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.
“This is a reflection of a thoughtful process,” Waugh added. “We are and have been working in concert with Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners and friends at the PGA TOUR to find an alternative date that works for all. We are all very hopeful for a great outcome.
“We are also in dialogue with Mayor Breed and her team at the City of San Francisco and look forward to hopefully bringing the 2020 PGA Championship to TPC Harding Park at a date this summer when it is once again safe and responsible to do so.”
Tiger Woods is the defending champion at the Masters, with the Augusta National Golf Club mediating actively behind closed doors for a new date later in the year. Speculation is rife about a potential date in October this year. Many believe that it could be played from 8-11 October, but there has been no official word yet about a potential date.
The PGA Championship is expected to engage in parleys with Augusta National, PGA TOUR, European Tour, the USGA and R&A as more and more events juggle for space on a calendar that is being mangled by the rapidly changing situation. Nearly 160 countries have been already affected by the spread of the Corona Virus.
As reported earlier, the Augusta National Golf Club released a statement on 13 March, informing that the Masters stands postponed.
Statement from Augusta National Golf Club:
On Wednesday, March 4, we issued a memo stating that our plans to host the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals had not changed. 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.
Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.
We will continue to work with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the City of Augusta and all other local authorities. We are grateful to all of these entities for their exceptional efforts and guidance.
We recognize this decision will affect many people, including our loyal patrons. Your patience as we make every effort to communicate effectively and efficiently is appreciated, and we will share any additional information as soon as it becomes available.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding of this decision and know you share our concern given these trying times. Thank you for your faithful support.