PGA Championship to go ahead without fans

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The PGA Championship will go ahead as scheduled in August but without spectators, officials confirmed on Monday.

The PGA of America said in a statement the first golf major of 2020 will take place at San Francisco’s Harding Park from August 6-9.

The tournament had been rescheduled to its August date after being postponed from its original slot in May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The PGA of America formally confirmed the tournament would be held on Monday after weighing alternative options, which included moving the tournament to another course.

The decision to bar spectators from the event was taken out of consideration for “the health and well-being of all involved,” the PGA said.

“We are both inspired & honoured to play on, grateful to the state of California & the city & county of San Francisco for being terrific partners,” PGA of America Chief Executive Seth Waugh said.

“While the local community cannot be with us physically on-site, we will certainly carry their spirit of resilience and unity with us as we stage our major championship, on their behalf, for all the world to see and enjoy.”

PGA officials had also awaited approval from California officials before pressing ahead with the schedule.

The decision comes after the PGA Tour has made a largely successful return from its COVID-19 shutdown, which forced the postponement or cancellation of all four golf majors this season.

The tour returned to tournament play earlier this month with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Texas followed by last week’s RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Both events took place without spectators while players have observed strict safety protocols which include frequent testing for COVID-19.