The Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament held at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio from July 16-19 will not welcome spectators as hoped amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared that up to 8,000 fans could attend the competition that was set to become the first PGA tournament to allow spectators since the uncontrolled virus outbreak caused the bulk of the sports world to pause seasons in March.
On Monday, however, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced via an official statement:
“We applaud the leadership, diligence and partnership it took from Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sullivan, the entire Memorial Tournament staff and State, County and City leadership to build a solid plan that would allow for limited fan attendance at next week’s event. But given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our Return to Golf — the health and safety of all involved. While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right. In the meantime, we have no doubt that the Memorial Tournament will once again be an incredible championship and deliver the best competitive environment for our players and utmost entertainment to our fans around the world.”
“The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and the PGA Tour have made the right decision in not allowing spectators to attend this year. I know it was a difficult decision to make, but the organizers of the Memorial Tournament have put the health and safety of players and fans first.”
The PGA returned to play last month with tournaments held on closed courses with no fans permitted. NASCAR has allowed percentages of spectators to attend races in Florida and Alabama.