Augusta National Golf Club announced on Tuesday that it plans to allow a limited number of patrons in the gates for the 2021 Masters “provided it can be done safely.” This comes the heels of the rescheduled 2020 Masters (played in November) only including players, club members, media and a minuscule number of player guests.
The Masters has the unique distinction of being both the last major played in 2020 and the first major played in 2021 as the 85th edition of the event is just three months away, even though it feels like Dustin Johnson put the finishing touches on his second major championship just a few days ago.
“Following the successful conduct of the Masters Tournament last November with only essential personnel, we are confident in our ability to responsibly invite a limited number of patrons to Augusta National in April,” chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement.
“As with the November Masters, we will implement practices and policies that will protect the health and safety of everyone in attendance. Nothing is, or will be, more important than the well-being of all involved. While we are disappointed that we will be unable to accommodate a full complement of patrons this year, we will continue our efforts to ensure that all who purchased tickets from Augusta National will have access in 2022, provided conditions improve.”
All 2020 ticket holders got to keep their ticket for 2021, but now that it’s known that the galleries will not be at 100% capacity, it seems as if there will be a type of lottery by Augusta National regarding who gets to come. They also assured that “refunds will be issued to those patrons not selected to attend,” which implies that the 2022 Masters will be a reset in terms of ticketing.
Augusta National was one of the first to postpone its event when the pandemic hit in the first quarter of 2020, and now it’s one of the first to announce that patrons will be back. Minutes after the announcement came, the Genesis Invitational — played in the much more covid-stringent state of California — said that it would not allow fans for its event from February 18-21.
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt event will be played as scheduled this year. The 2021 Masters starts on April 8.