Plans for spectators to potentially attend a PGA Tour event in the United States have again fallen apart because of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
Roughly two weeks after PGA commissioner Jay Monahan suggested the U.S. Open in Mamaroneck, New York could welcome fans, USGA CEO Mike Davis announced in an official statement that the 120th edition of the tournament held at Winged Foot Golf Club from Sept. 17-20 will happen behind closed doors:
"Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved. We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens."
USGA senior managing director of championships John Bodenhamer added:
"This will not be a typical U.S. Open in several respects. Would it have been easier to simply cancel or even move the 2020 championship rather than play it in what has been the epicenter of the virus in our country? Possibly. But all of us at the USGA know how much the U.S. Open matters, and we weren’t willing to give up on playing it at Winged Foot Golf Club so easily. We are very proud to give our competitors and champions a platform to chase their dreams. Their perseverance motivates us, in a year when such tenacity means so much."
Tickets purchased to U.S. Open events will be automatically refunded.
As ESPN's Mark Schlabach wrote, the PGA has completed eight competitions without fans since the Tour halted play in March due to the uncontrolled virus outbreak. The PGA Championship at San Francisco's Harding Park from Aug. 6-9 won't permit spectators on the course.