The 2020 U.S. Open will be held without fans in attendance amid “ongoing health and safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the USGA and state of New York announced Wednesday. The 120th edition of the tournament, normally held in June, will be played at its previously scheduled site — Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York — from Sept. 17-20.
With the coronavirus not under control in the United States, the U.S. Open becomes the second major of the cycle to decide on playing without spectators. The USGA and Winged Foot in April announced the rescheduling of the U.S. Open, pushing it from June 18-21 as the country locked down. Hope was the COVID-19 would be significantly flattened by the fall.
“Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens.”
Added New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “We have come a long way in the fight against COVID-19, and I am so proud of New Yorkers, who rose to the occasion and bent the curve. I am pleased to welcome the USGA for the U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club this September, and while the tournament will look different this year with no fans and enhanced safety protocols, this event is a welcome sight for sports fans across the country and will help restore a sense of normalcy as we build back better than before.”
The 2020 PGA Championship, now the lone major of the rescheduled 2019-20 season, will be played Aug. 6-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco without fans in attendance. The 2020 Open Championship has been canceled, and the 2020 Masters is scheduled for Nov. 12-15, though it has not announced a policy for its patrons at this time. The 2020 Ryder Cup has been pushed a full year to 2021.
“This will not be a typical U.S. Open in several respects,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “Would it have been easier to simply cancel or even move the 2020 championship rather than play it in what has been the epicenter of the virus in our country? Possibly. But all of us at the USGA know how much the U.S. Open matters, and we weren’t willing to give up on playing it at Winged Foot Golf Club so easily.”