PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA Tour responded to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday evening by canceling the rest of the Players Championship, the signature event, and all of its events until at least April 9, the Masters start date.
The cancellation of the Players Championship came about 10 hours after the announcement that the tournament would continue without fans for the last three rounds. The first round was completed on Thursday with a smaller audience than usual, while Hideki Matsuyama took the lead over Harris English with two strokes, topping the tournament record with a score of nine under-par of 63.
statement said the tour he regretted having to cancel and the situation "is changing quickly".
"We have made every effort to create a safe environment for our players to continue the event throughout the game, over the weekend," the statement said, "and we tried to give our fans a a much needed respite from the current climate, but right now – and as the situation changes quickly – the right thing our players and our fans can do to take a break is ”.
Tiger Woods is getting many cancellations not a chance to play a tournament as a warm-up in the weeks before trying to defend the Masters title he achieved last year in a thunderous career revival.
Citing problems with his surgically recovered back, Woods has withdrawn from the past two PGA Tour events and has not played competitively since the Genesis Invitational in mid-February, when he finished last among the players who made the cut and 76 and 77 shots in the last two rounds.
The PGA Tour decision followed similar moves from other major U.S. sports leagues, including the NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS, which had suspended or postponed all operations for the past 24 hours due to concerns about the corona virus pandemic . The N.C.A.A. championships in all winter and spring sports were also canceled on Thursday.
After finishing their rounds at the Players Championship on Thursday, several players wondered if the tournament would be completed.
Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, called the situation "dynamic and changeable," adding, "If someone catches the virus in the locker room, everything changes."
Gary Woodland, the reigning US Open champion, said, "Hopefully we can keep playing and nobody will get sick."