Memorial first to allow fans back after COVID-19 outbreak

AFP
Fans line the course at last year's Memorial. Officials say spectators will be allowed back at this year's event following the coronavirus shutdown (AFP Photo/Matt SULLIVAN)
Fans line the course at last year's Memorial. Officials say spectators will be allowed back at this year's event following the coronavirus shutdown (AFP Photo/Matt SULLIVAN)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Golf fans will likely undergo temperature checks and carry social distancing chip technology as The Memorial got the green light Friday to become the first PGA event to allow the return of spectators.

Tournament organizers said they have received official approval from health officials in the state of Ohio to become the first to permit fans since the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to the golf season in mid-March.

The Memorial was originally scheduled to take place June 4-7 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, but was moved to July 16-19.

"It's official, thanks to State approval & support from the @PGATOUR, patrons will be permitted to attend the 45th edition of #theMemorial," the tournament posted on its Twitter feed.

Organizers added that additional safety restrictions would be announced in the coming days.

Last month tournament director Dan Sullivan said fans would be given badges equipped with technology chips to ensure they are properly social distancing. He also said anyone entering the facility would undergo temperature screenings and there would be no grandstands set up around the greens.

The PGA Tour has been on hiatus since March and resumes next week at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Fans will not be permitted at the Texas event.

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