PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan ‘hopeful’ fans will return end of 2020
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan was asked on Wednesday when he expects fans to return to PGA Tour events. The answer is complicated.
The Memorial was supposed to be the first event with fans back at a limited capacity, but the Tour announced last week it wouldn’t allow any due to the “rapidly changing dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic” in the U.S. The Tour’s latest update came on Monday: no fans (or pro-ams) for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
The next event that could have fans is the U.S. Open. The Safeway Open is the week before and kicks off the new 2020-21 season on Sept. 10-13, but it already announced it won’t allow fans. The U.S. Open is Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y. The USGA, which is still hoping to have limited fans, told GOLF.com last week that it “continues to work through different scenarios in order to conduct the best and safest championship for everyone involved. We are working with the state of New York and the Governor’s office and hope to confirm our final plan regarding on-site attendance soon.”
Monahan said he’s hopeful fans can return in the fall, or the last quarter of the year. The Masters (Nov. 12-15) has not made any announcement about fans.
“The way it works, just so you guys all have a sense of it, is at this point we have enough time to be able to continue to assess what’s happening on the ground in the markets where we play, speaking to governors, speaking to mayors, speaking to health authorities,” Monahan said. “We’ve already in most cases communicated what our options are, and we have various approval levels to return, whether it’s with fans, without fans, a set number of fans, whether or not we can play a pro-am, and we continue to have those conversations, and I think as we get into early August and mid-August, then we’ll start making some decisions about where we’re going to be post-Tour Championship with our events. We’re hopeful that you’re going to see fans at our tournaments when we get to the back half of the year, or quarter of the year.”