Coronavirus: Masters still expected to go ahead... but with a twist

Green Jacket

Masters officials are still planning to stage next month's tournament - but are reckoned to be seriously exploring the prospect of playing it behind closed doors.

According to Golf Digest's Brian Wacker and Joel Beall, the first men's major championship of the season is proceeding as planned.

However, the Green Jackets are believed to be "reviewing contingencies", which includes limiting patrons or playing on empty course.

A decision is expected to be made by Monday at the latest.

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Beall's sources have it that "everything is on the table" at the moment, although the tournament is expected to go ahead, assuming that all competitors will have travel access to US.

Last night, the US president Donald Trump announced a blanket ban on travel from 'continental' Europe that will come into effect from 9am on Friday and will last for 30 days.

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The first round of the Masters is scheduled to get underway on April 9 - 28 days from today.

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Whilst other sports have wasted no time in responding to the spread of the virus - the NBA season, for example, was written off last night - golf in America has largely resisted postponing tournaments.

This week's PLAYERS Championship got underway as scheduled this morning. However, fans have been advised that players will not be signing autographs at TPC Sawgrass.

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