Augusta National confirms Masters will go ahead

While tournaments, conferences and sporting events around the world are being cancelled, the Masters will proceed as scheduled…at least for now.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement this week that the club has been in ongoing discussions with health experts and has determined that it is safe to go ahead with the tournament on April 9.

Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley (Credit: Augusta National)

However, there are plans in place if the situation changes over the next month.

“The safety, health and well-being of everyone is our top priority at Augusta National Golf Club,” said Ridley.

“We are, therefore, mindful of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, which has been widely reported and continues to spread in areas where it has been detected.”

“Augusta National is not only monitoring the situation closely, but also consulting with relevant experts, including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Public Health and local authorities.”

“As a result of this collaboration, and based upon our knowledge of the situation at this time, we are proceeding as scheduled for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals and the Masters tournament.”

The Masters is the first major of the year and has only been cancelled three times (1943-1945) since its inception in 1934.

Tiger Woods will return as the defending champion following his remarkable come-from-behind victory last year where he held out Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele to secure his fifth green jacket.