Augusta National announces postponement of Drive, Chip and Putt

March 27, 2020
As the coronavirus spreads, Augusta National is forced to make adjustments to its plans.

Augusta National announced on Friday that the Drive, Chip and Putt won’t be held in 2020. Officials cited the move as “the most responsible measure” given health risks posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Qualifying set for the 2021 competition, which was scheduled to begin May 1, has been canceled. Instead, the 2020 competition has been rescheduled for April 4, 2021, the Sunday before Masters week.

The club made no additional announcement about the Masters, which was previously postponed.

According to the club, every qualifier for the 2020 event will still get to participate in the age division in which they qualified, regardless of their age at the 2021 competition. Spectators who bought tickets will also be refunded and given the opportunity to buy tickets to next year’s competition.

The USGA and PGA of America put out statements alongside Augusta explaining their decision.

“As deeply disappointing as it is for us to make this very difficult decision, it’s clearly the right thing to do for all involved,” said USGA president Stu Francis. “We look forward to seeing everyone play golf again, especially these juniors whose talent, joy and drive to compete inspire all of us.”

Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley cited a need to look out for the health interests of all involved. “These decisions protect the health and well-being of the program’s many important constituents and were made independently from our Masters Tournament rescheduling efforts,” he said. “With no qualifying this summer, we are pleased to maintain this wonderful tradition by welcoming these 80 boys and girls to Augusta National next April.”

PGA of America president Suzy Whaley added her support for the decision. “We are grateful that this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finalists will have a special opportunity to compete at Augusta National next year,” she said. “These outstanding junior golfers deserve to follow their dreams, which they worked so hard to achieve, and we all look forward to cheering them on.”

The Drive, Chip and Putt has been held since 2013 to help hone and honor golf’s fundamental skills in kids age 7-15. This is the first year since its inception that the event will not be held. Registration for the 2021-22 Drive, Chip and Putt is expected to open in early 2021.

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