Augusta National announces no fans at the Masters in November

Liz Roscher
·2 min read

The 2020 Masters, which was moved from April to Nov. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be played in front of empty galleries. Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, announced on Wednesday that no guests or fans will be admitted to the Masters this year.

“Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic,” Ridley said in a statement. “As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.

“Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.”

A Masters flag waving in the wind.
There will be no roaring crowds at the Masters this year. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The roaring crowds at the Masters are part of what makes it “a tradition unlike any other,” so it will be supremely weird to hear silence on the broadcast, and see nothing but empty space underneath the famous leaderboard. But a number of tournaments have been played without fans in recent months, and while it’s been strange it’s certainly better than the alternative, which is no golf at all.

“Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing,” Ridley said. “The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special. 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.

“We appreciate the support and patience of all those we serve – including the Augusta community, our corporate and broadcast partners and our friends in golf – as we continue to plan for this historic event.”

The Masters will be played Nov. 12-15. Those with tickets to the 2020 tournament will receive the same tickets for the 2021 tournament.

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