PGA Tour cancels The Players Championship after first round

Ruben Hill
March 15, 2020

The Players' Championship in Florida is cancelled and no further tournaments will be played up until the Valero Texas Open.

A number of global players in the strongest field at a PGA Tour event annually, approached the PGA Tour with concerns after Disney and Busch Gardens had announced they were closing to the public, because of the threat posed by Coronavirus (COVID 19). This policy starts at THE PLAYERS Championship tomorrow (Friday) and continues through the Valero Texas Open.

The event, held at TPC Sawgrass, is not a major championship but is often referenced as "the fifth major" given its status in the golfing calendar.

Fears over the spreading coronavirus outbreak led to the PGA Tour making a dramatic U-turn, having earlier allowed fans in to watch the opening round.

The world No.1's comments followed the announcement that the Tour will go ahead without fans for the remainder of the Players Championship with the coronavirus spreading around the world.

Mr Monaghan spoke on Friday morning at the PGA Tour's Florida HQ at Ponte Vedra.

"We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend", the tour said in a statement.

Monahan, at a press conference on Friday, said that among the things that influenced him to change course and completely cancel the tournament were the contributions of the players and the fact that Walt Disney World and Universal Studios closed their doors.

Monahan had sought to emphasize differences between golf and other US-based sports - for example, the National Basketball Association, which has suspended competition completely.

"It would be very unusual without hearing the roars echoing through the valley", 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth said of an empty Augusta. He believed the tour made a step in the right direction by eliminating fans. He said they were supportive of the precautionary measures taken.

"This is a hard situation, one with consequences that impact our players, fans and the communities in which we play", Monahan added. "We've had a team in place that has been carefully monitoring and assessing the situation and its implications for several weeks".

Four-time major victor McIlroy, last year's Players victor, supported the PGA shutdown and said his coach probably wouldn't come from Ireland next week as planned as he prepares to be idled.

"If we can't be tested to make sure, it makes no sense to keep risking it", Spain's Jon Rahm said.

There would be a "significant" financial hit from the Tour's flagship competition going spectator-free, Monahan said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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