Prospects for fans attending a major men's golf championship this year worsened on Wednesday when officials at the United States Open announced in 2020 that the event is in Westchester County, NY , would take place without spectators.
Next week's PGA Championship, in San Francisco, this year's first major golf championship, had already barred fans from participating. That leaves the Masters, in November, in Augusta, Ga., As the only major male that bans spectators to date.
Leaders of the Augusta National Golf Club, which leads the Masters, have made no public comments about their decision about fans. In April this year's British Open, scheduled for July, was canceled.
The PGA Tour canceled plans to have spectators at a tournament in Ohio this month and has said it will not receive fans at the remaining events this season. On the L.P.G.A. Tour, which resumes this week after a lengthy hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first five events will be absent from fans. The tours for men and women have not made any final decisions about admitting spectators to tournaments late in the year, which is actually the beginning of next season. The European Tour has also returned to the competition, albeit without spectators. The Women's British Open, which will be the first major women's competition this year, will be held in Scotland from August 20-23 without fans.
The United States Golf Association, which runs the US Open, made its announcement on Wednesday in partnership with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"After months of consultation and scenario planning with local and national health officials, we have jointly decided that organizing the US Open without spectators provides the best opportunity to lead the championship safely for all concerned," Mike Davis, the USGA CEO said in a statement. “We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence for the championship brings. We look forward to welcoming them again to future US Opens. "
Cuomo said:" Although the tournament will look different this year without fans and improved safety protocols, this event is a welcome sight for sports fans around the world. country and will help restore the sense of normality as we rebuild better than before.
The US Open was originally scheduled for mid-June, but was pushed back to September 17-20 in April. The U.S.G.A. considered moving the championship to a course outside the northeast, although it was preferable to keep the tournament at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., a traditional choice. The event was last organized in 2006.
But even if the U.S.G.A. canceled the extensive system of qualifying tournaments for the US Open, the organization remained hopeful that there could be at least a limited number of fans at Winged Foot during the championship.
"We are grateful to all the local and national officials as well as the members and staff of Winged Foot Golf Club who have worked so hard to help us achieve our goal of receiving fans this year," said Davis, adding, "While we are disappointed, we know it was the right decision for the community and for the players. & # 39;
The Ryder Cup, the biennial international competition held in Wisconsin at the end of September was also moved to 2021. The US Women's Open was also postponed to December 10-13 in Houston, as were two other women's majors: The ANA Inspiration, usually the first female major of the year , is now played in Rancho Mirage, California, from September 10-13, and the Women's PGA Championship was moved from October 8-11, in Newtown Square, Pa.