Collin Morikawa has warned the PGA Tour that they must “watch what they do” after it was announced that some patrons could be in attendance for this year’s Masters.
Augusta National revealed in a statement yesterday that this year's tournament will be conducted with similar health and safety standards to those in place in November and, as a result, efforts are being made to admit a limited number of patrons.
Fans could also be set to return to the PGA Tour galleries in significant numbers as early as next month, with plans afoot to allow up to 8,000 spectators per day at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open – by far the most of any PGA Tour event since play resumed in June.
Whilst excited by that prospect, US PGA champion Morikawa hopes that it's not a case of too much, too soon.
“We are the first really big tour to come out here and do this stuff, so I think we still need to watch ourselves on what we do and where we're going to be going,” he said ahead of this week’s Sony Open. “I think all these tournaments are going to start bringing fans back, whether it's limited capacity or a certain amount per day. They are going to do it right.
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“We are always going to follow the right rules. We built a system, the PGA Tour has built a system, and I'm sure Augusta has built a system to make sure this doesn't get out of hand. We've done a really good job since we've started and I think the PGA Tour need to be given the credit.”
Despite his caution, Morikawa is buoyed by the prospect of fans returning, with events having felt subdued without them.
“For the most part, slowly starting to see fans back is going to be really exciting," he added. "It's good to start the new year because everyone gets to start fresh. For me, the tail-end of 2020 was just getting dull.
“It's not like I was coming out not ready to play golf or anything. But we do miss those cheers. It just gets you going. It gets you into wanting to play just a little more.”