Reuters Toronto, Canada
Next month’s Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, will be the first on the PGA Tour’s revamped schedule to allow spectators amid the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers announced on Friday.
“Thanks to state approval and support from the PGA Tour, patrons will be permitted to attend the 45th edition of the Memorial,” the tournament, hosted by 18-times major champion Jack Nicklaus, wrote on Twitter.
The Memorial, which will follow five spectator-free events on the PGA Tour, also said it will issue more details soon for the July 16-19 event at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, while announcing the re-opening of state casinos and amusements parks in two weeks’, said safety plans for the Memorial Tournament were received and approved.
“These sectors have come up with plans that reduce the number of people, provide for sanitation, and in some cases, provide for one-way traffic,” DeWine wrote on Twitter.
“They are elaborate plans that we believe are consistent with protecting the public.”
A week before the Memorial, Muirfield will host a tournament that will replace the Illinois-based John Deere Classic that was cancelled due to state-related challenges regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will be closed to the general public.
The PGA Tour, which shut down in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus, returns to action next week at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth Texas.
Woods not in field
Tiger Woods will not compete next week when the PGA Tour swings back into action after a three-month Covid-19 hiatus as he was not listed in the field released on Friday for the event in Fort Worth, Texas.
The 15-times major champion did not commit to the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club by the 5pm ET (2100 GMT) deadline, and thus will not be part of a stacked field headlined by the top five golfers in the world.
Woods’ lone Colonial appearance was in 1997 but there was a sense he would return this year given the long layoff since the PGA Tour shut down in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The 44-year-old Masters champion last competed on the PGA Tour in mid-February when he laboured through a final-round 77 at the Genesis Invitational where he finished last among players who made the cut.
Woods, one win shy of a record-breaking 83 PGA Tour wins, then skipped a number of tournaments with back issues but did play a May 24 charity match with Phil Mickelson and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
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