Masters becomes last major of the year to go crowd-free

It was the last of the majors yet to make an announcement about crowds and now the Augusta National Golf Club has finally confirmed that there will be no patrons allowed at this year’s rescheduled event.

ANGC Chairman, Fred Ridley, that it was “deeply disappointing” not to be able to welcome fans on to the hallowed turf this year.

Fred Ridley ANGC Chairman Fred Ridley

“Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing. The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special,” said Ridley.

Augusta National has the responsibility, however, to understand and accept the challenges associated with this virus and take the necessary precautions to conduct all aspects of the Tournament in a safe manner.”

“We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our patrons back, hopefully in April 2021.”

With the US in the grip of over five million CV-19 infections and the state of Georgia sitting at number five on the list of states with the most infections, the Augusta National Golf Club had little choice but to stage the November 12 event without spectators.

“Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic,” said Ridley.

“As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.”

“Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.”

The recent PGA Championship was proof that a major can still provide much of the same excitement without the crowds…a tight leaderboard and Collin Morikawa’s 16th hole heroics took care of that.

However, the Masters has always been synonymous with the sea of people surrounding the greens and fairways with their cheers echoing through the pines, ebbing and flowing to the tune of the eagles and birdies across those four days in April.

Crowds or no crowds, Tiger Woods will be back at Augusta as defending champion for the fifth time in his career and there is nothing more exciting than that.