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The PGA Tour is giving serious consideration to staging tournaments without spectators when it returns from its coronavirus-enforced hiatus.
The world’s most lucrative golf circuit has been on an indefinite pause since The PLAYERS Championship was abandoned and cancelled ahead of its second round getting underway last month.
Since then, tournament golf has gone into a near-total global lockdown as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, a total of nine tournaments have been struck from the PGA Tour’s 2019-20 schedule, the Open Championship amongst them.
The season’s other three major championships, along with the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, are currently listed as postponed.
The earliest the tour could now resume is the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial on May 21. However, this seems unlikely, with sources telling Golf Digest that the powers-that-be are working towards a mid-June restart.
According to the same report, the tour is holding talks with various sponsors about staging fan-free tournaments when it does come back, with the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit – expected to fill the space on the calendar previously occupied by the US Open (June 18-21) – almost certain to go ahead behind closed doors if it takes place at all.
The Players’ Advisory Council is expected to hold a conference call tomorrow to discuss the resumption of play.
The PGA Tour is, however, committed to giving its members plenty of advance warning before golf does get going again.
“At a minimum, it is our hope to give the membership at least three to four weeks’ notice before restarting the season,” it said in a memo seen by Golf Digest. “We understand many of you may be impacted by travel restrictions and/or the inability to practice in your area, thus we want to be able to give you as much time as possible to allow you to come back fully prepared.”
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