No surprises as Memorial Tournament no longer to permit spectators

PGA TOUR Commissioner, Jay Monahan (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour and the Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus will be held without fans on site and with no pro-am, due to the rapidly changing face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The news comes as many of the world’s best players arrive at Muirfield Village Golf Club for an unprecedented two-week swing at the “Course that Jack Built” — the Workday Charity Open this week, followed by the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, with the 45th edition of the Tournament being staged July 14-19.

“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,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.


“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.”

After Ohio Governor Mike DeWine approved in mid-June a phased approach to allowing on-site fans and guests, Memorial Tournament officials announced several elements of their Covid-19 activation protocols designed to allow for a 20 percent maximum capacity on property, encompassing patrons and private venues, as well as essential staff needed to operate the Tournament.

“The Memorial Tournament team, led by Dan Sullivan, worked exhaustively on a plan that the Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, as well as other local, county and state leaders were comfortable with, confident in, and applauded,” Nicklaus said.

“We had a good plan in place, and I could not be more proud of everyone who contributed to it. In the end, we have the responsibility to recognise the health and safety of the players and all who attend the Memorial Tournament. We, in partnership with Nationwide and the PGA Tour, will now focus on presenting the best-possible Memorial Tournament we can for the players and for the many fans watching at home and around the world on Golf Channel and CBS.”

Nationwide, which has been the Tournament sponsor for 10 years, has been both supportive and instrumental throughout the planning process, since the Memorial date change in March in conjunction with the PGA Tour’s adjusted tournament schedule.

“We understand and support the decision to have this year’s Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide without spectators,” said Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Kirt Walker.

“Although we can’t be there in person, we wish the players a great two weeks at Muirfield Village Golf Club and we look forward to supporting them on course, with fans, in the future.”


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