Once expected to be the first golf event to allow fan attendance after the PGA Tour restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Memorial Tournament will now be held without spectators, the PGA Tour announced on Monday. Set for July 16-19 from Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio, the Memorial usually features a star-studded field as one of the most high-profile non-major events on PGA Tour.
“We applaud the leadership, diligence and partnership it took from Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sullivan, the entire Memorial Tournament staff and State, County and City leadership to build a solid plan that would allow for limited fan attendance at next week’s event,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement. “But given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our Return to Golf — the health and safety of all involved.
“While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right. In the meantime, we have no doubt that the Memorial Tournament will once again be an incredible championship and deliver the best competitive environment for our players and utmost entertainment to our fans around the world.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved on June 7 a plan conceived by the Memorial to host up to 8,000 fans (20% of the maximum capacity). Included in the plan were a mask requirement, temperature readings at all entrances, limited media attendance, sanitation stations and one-way traffic procedures all intended to protect the public.
Muirfield Village is hosting consecutive events to open July as it stepped in to hold a previously unscheduled PGA Tour event sponsored by Workday this week. The first four events since the COVID-19 restart — Charles Schwab Challenge, RBC Heritage, Travelers Championship and Rocket Mortgage Classic — were held without fans.
The Workday Charity Open replaced the John Deere Classic, which was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some golfers could play eight straight rounds in Columbus over the next two weeks.