The Masters Tournament, golf's first major championship of the year, will be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, Augusta National officials announced Friday morning.
The Masters, which was scheduled for April 9-12, is the fifth event on the PGA Tour schedule that will not be played in its current spot on the calendar, following the cancellation of the remainder of the Players Championship, Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, WGC-Dell Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas, and Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
"Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision," Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, said in a statement. "We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date."
Statement from Chairman Ridley:— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020
"Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone @TheMasters, @anwagolf and @DriveChipPutt National Finals."
Full details at https://t.co/FX2AN1MLsY pic.twitter.com/Z2DjS5TYdG
Unclear is when the event will be played and whether the Augusta National Women's Amateur and Drive, Chip & Putt events will also be part of the rescheduling.
The Masters, which dates to 1934, has never been played outside of March or April. For years, it has held firm with ending on the second Sunday of April.
The Players Championship was started on Thursday with fans not having the usual access to golfers. It had been scheduled to continue Friday without fans, but late Thursday the PGA Tour canceled the remainder of the event with all competitors splitting half of the $15 million prize purse.
Tiger Woods is the defending champion at the Masters, having won his fifth tournament at Augusta National last April.