As it prepares to emerge from its three-month, coronavirus-enforced sabbatical this week, the PGA Tour has announced that it will begin to allow spectators to attend events at next month’s Memorial Tournament.
This week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial marks the first competitive action on the PGA Tour since the PLAYERS Championship was cancelled following its first round on March 12.
It will be the first of at least four tournaments to be played behind closed doors as the tour returns to action following its COVID-19 shutdown.
It had been speculated that the remainder of the year might follow a similar pattern. However, it was revealed over the weekend that fans will be allowed to attend the Memorial, hosted by 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village from July 16-19, following “state approval” from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
In a statement, the PGA Tour said that it has been “diligently working with host organizations, state and local government agencies and leading medical experts on health and safety plans for our Return to Golf events”.
It added: “The news announced by Ohio governor Mike DeWine is a very positive step for the PGA Tour and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide as it relates to a phased approach in re-introducing a limited number of on-site fans and guests.
“We very much look forward to the return of spectators on a limited basis at the Memorial Tournament, July 13-19.”
More details regarding protocols designed to promote the health and safety of all who will be on site at this year's tournament are expected to be revealed this week.