Coronavirus: Masters postponed as professional golf is locked down

Next month's Masters has been postponed as golf joins other sports in being locked down due to the coronavirus.

Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley announced the postponement of next month's Masters in a statement.
Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley announced the postponement of next month's Masters in a statement.

The inevitable decision was announced by August National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley in the wake of all the main circuits calling off events in recent days due to the virus.

In a statement, Ridley said: "On Wednesday, March 4, we issued a memo stating that our plans to host the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals had not changed.

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"Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.

"Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.

"Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.

"We will continue to work with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the City of Augusta and all other local authorities. We are grateful to all of these entities for their exceptional efforts and guidance.

"We recognise this decision will affect many people, including our loyal patrons. Your patience as we make every effort to communicate effectively and efficiently is appreciated, and we will share any additional information as soon as it becomes available. Updates also will be posted to our website, ANWAgolf.com.

"As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding of this decision and know you share our concern given these trying times. Thank you for your faithful support."