AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Augusta National Golf Club has ruled there will be no patrons at the Masters this year.
In a statement by Chairman Fred Ridley, ANGC officials say they have been consulting with health officials since the tournament was postponed in March just as COVID-19 began to pick up steam in the U.S.
Even as sporting events around the country continue to start back up, putting the health and safety of Masters patrons at risk was too big of a hill to climb, according to Ridley.
“Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome,” Ridley said.
Ridley called the move “disappointing”, but said that the ANGC needed to make this decision.
“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,” Ridley said.
“I think that based on everything I know about what’s taking place at Augusta National, they’ve been on the front lines of reviewing what the PGA is doing. I think, as you see, the tournament’s happening tomorrow -- the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park -- without fans. And that’s likely what probably will happen here in Augusta. We have a tournament without fans.”
With a patron-less Masters now coming to pass, many are wondering about ticket holders for this year’s tournament.
Ticket holders who won spots for the 2020 Masters will be guaranteed the same tickets for the 2021 Masters, the ANGC said.
ANGC officials say they will speak to 2020 Masters ticket holders directly and to ticket applicants in September.