The 2020 Masters tournament, golf’s first major championship and a signature, springtime event in American sport, was postponed Friday morning by the Augusta National Golf Club, the hosts of the event. The tournament, which takes place in Augusta, Ga., was scheduled for Apr. 9-12. The club said it hoped it could play the event at some later date.
Fred Ridley, the Augusta National chairman, said in a statement:
“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.”
Thursday night, the PGA Tour, which conducts the bulk of the professional golf events in North America, announced it was canceling several tournaments and suspending operations until the week of the Masters. That included the Players Championship, which was canceled after one round was played Thursday.
Early Friday morning, as many of the world’s top golfers arrived at the TPC-Sawgrass course that hosts the Players Championship to collect their golf clubs and clean out their lockers, most were hopeful that the Masters would be played.
“You hope for the best,” said Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked golfer in the world. “It’s one of these things where we have to wait and see. Obviously, I’m going to keep playing golf and practicing, but we don’t know what we’re practicing for.”
Billy Horschel, ranked 34th, said: “I don’t think anyone has been in this situation before because we don’t know when it will be O.K. to start back up. I think most of us are hoping that will be after these next three weeks. We’re hoping we’ll be in a better situation then.”
The Masters is the first golf major championship of the year and has been played every year since 1934, except from 1943 to 1945 when it was canceled due to World War II.
Tiger Woods, in one of the most memorable sporting events of 2019, came from behind to win last year’s Masters. It was Woods’s 15th major championship. Woods has been sidelined in recent weeks resting his surgically repaired back.