A “Play Suspended” sign is seen on the leaderboard during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 09, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia.
Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images
The 2020 Masters golf tournament has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley announced on Friday.
“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,” Ridley said in a statement.
The announcement of suspending the PGA Tour’s first major event is the latest blow to the sports world that has seen a slew of suspensions and cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak. The NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer all suspended their seasons this week. The NCAA canceled the March Madness men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well. MLB postponed opening day baseball games at least two weeks and canceled all remaining spring training games.
The Masters was scheduled to start April 9, but Ridley said the “ever-increasing risks” of spreading the coronavirus contributed to the “decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.”
CBS, which broadcasts the Masters, said it supports the decision to postpone the tournament.
“We are fully supportive of Augusta National’s decision to postpone this year’s Masters Tournament,” a CBS spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work closely with our partners at Augusta National as we prioritize the health and well-being of everyone involved.”
In the U.S., the virus has infected more than 1,323, according to Johns Hopkins University, and killed at least 38. You can follow live updates on the coronavirus here.