AUGUSTA, Ga. - Augusta National says next month's Masters golf tournament is postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
The tournament, the first of golf's four major championships to be held in 2020, was scheduled for April 9-12 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
"Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision," Augusta National Golf Club Chairman, Fred Ridley, said in a statement.
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive and the Chip and Putt National Finals have also been postponed. Officials said they hope to host the tournament at "some later date."
The full statement from Augusta National Golf Club Chairman, Fred Ridley, can be read below:
"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.
Updates also will be posted to our website, Masters.com. 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."
The Masters is just one of several large sports events to be canceled or postponed due to growing concern of the spread of COVID-19.
The National Basketball Association suspended the season prior to two players testing positive for the coronavirus. Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the English Premier League and the Professional Golf Association have either suspended upcoming games and matches or barred fans from attending due to the coronavirus. The XFL also suspended what remained of its season.
NASCAR has opted to hold its weekend races without fans in attendance.
Public health officials have urged social distancing to slow down or stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who are 60+ and people with serious medical conditioners, such as heart disease and diabetes, are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces