Coronavirus: Players Championship canceled after one round

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Rory McIlroy had called for all players to be tested for coronavirus before the Players Championship was canceled.

The Florida Players Championship was canceled after one round, with organizers saying it was "the right thing to do" to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

The PGA Tour also stopped playing until the Valero Texas Open on April 2.

The Masters – the first major of 2020 – starts a week later.

The Tour said, "At this point – and as the situation changes quickly – the right thing for our players and fans to do is to pause."

The event, held at TPC Sawgrass, is not a big championship, but often becomes & # 39; the fifth major & # 39; given its status in the golf calendar.

Earlier on Thursday, organizers said fans would like the prestigious track for the last three rounds.

But they announced: "We are sorry to announce the cancellation of The Players Championship.

" We also decided to cancel all PGA Tour events – in all of our Tours – cancel the coming weeks, by going to the Valero Texas Open.

"We have committed from the beginning to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision-making process. We have made every effort to create a safe environment for our players to continue the event all weekend long. , and we were and are trying to give our fans a much needed respite from the current climate. "

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama shot a nine under 63 to match the track record on Friday.

The Players Championship was first played in 1974 and has never been canceled.

On Thursday, the next three tournaments on the LPGA Tour – including the first major of the year – were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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