Masters Tournament Will Allow Limited Number of Fans to Attend

This year’s Masters tournament in April will be attended by a limited number of spectators, the Augusta National Golf Club announced Tuesday. The club, which prohibited fans from the event two months ago, did not specify how many fans would be allowed in 2021, adding that spectators would be permitted if, “it can be done safely.”

The 2020 Masters was postponed from its usual April date to November because of the coronavirus pandemic and was contested with protocols that included virus testing before the event for all players, caddies, club members, staff and other personnel, including a reduced number of media members.

Fred Ridley, the club chairman, said in a statement issued Tuesday that similar health standards would be instituted for this year’s tournament, which is scheduled to be contested from April 8 to 11. The Augusta, Ga., club’s announcement comes as the state reported 16 new coronavirus deaths and 7,957 new cases on Jan. 11. Over the past week, there has been an average of 9,604 cases a day, an increase of 55 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

“Following the successful conduct of the Masters Tournament last November with only essential personnel, we are confident in our ability to responsibly invite a limited number of patrons to Augusta National in April,” Ridley said. “As with the November Masters, we will implement practices and policies that will protect the health and safety of everyone in attendance.”

In November, Ridley said the club was exploring the ability to significantly increase its testing measures to facilitate a decision on whether to welcome fans to its next tournament.

Ridley said Tuesday that the Augusta National Women’s Amateur competition and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals — two events canceled last year — would be held on the weekend before the Masters tournament begins. The club also intends to have a small number of spectators at each of those competitions.

“Nothing is, or will be, more important than the well-being of all involved,” Ridley added. “While we are disappointed that we will be unable to accommodate a full complement of patrons this year, we will continue our efforts to ensure that all who purchased tickets from Augusta National will have access in 2022, provided conditions improve.”

The Augusta National statement said that the club was in the process of communicating with all ticket holders and that refunds would be issued to those patrons not selected to attend.

Source: Read Full Article