PGA TOUR- The PGA TOUR and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced today that despite a robust health and safety plan and State of Ohio approval for limited patron attendance, the world-renowned event founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus will instead be held without fans on site and with no pro-am, due to the rapidly changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. The news comes as many of the world’s best players arrive at Muirfield Village Golf Club for an unprecedented two-week swing at the “Course that Jack Built” — the Workday Charity Open this week, followed by the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, with the 45th edition of the Tournament being staged July 14-19.
“We applaud the leadership, diligence and partnership it took from Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sullivan, the entire Memorial Tournament staff and State, County and City leadership to build a solid plan that would allow for limited fan attendance at next week’s event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “But given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our Return to Golf — the health and safety of all involved. While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right. In the meantime, we have no doubt that the Memorial Tournament will once again be an incredible championship and deliver the best competitive environment for our players and utmost entertainment to our fans around the world.”
Not even a little bit surprising if you've been following the news lately. Despite saying it'd be the first tournament back to have fans in attendance, the Memorial alongside the PGA Tour announced today that there will be no fans at Muirfield Village due to coronavirus concerns. It's a no brainer. To be honest I was shocked when they initially announced that there were gonna be fans at the Memorial and things have seemingly only got worse since then. COVID cases are on the rise across the country so it would make zero sense to try and have thousands of fans packed into a golf tournament right now. The optics wouldn't be great either. You've got people all across the world trying their best to stop the spread of the virus via social distancing and then there's gonna be a golf tournament on TV showing a bunch of people hanging out like nothing's going on? No bueno.
Not to mention there's a good chance Tiger's first tournament back is gonna be the Memorial so all the fans there would just be following him and that's a disaster in the making. And I don't wanna speak for Tiger but I'm guessing he wouldn't be pumped about being surrounded by a bunch of fans while there's a global pandemic going on. All in all, it's just not the right time to try and bring fans back to live sporting events. The Memorial and the PGA Tour obviously see that so that means no fans at tournaments for the foreseeable future. What a strange time to be alive.