Former Masters champion Adam Scott insists the hosting of the Masters would not be the same without the Augusta National patrons.
It is just a month to the hosting of the New Year’s first Major and with each day there’s more news of the cancellations of major sporting events.
On the golf front, the European Tour has announced next week’s Hero Indian Open is being cancelled while, and this comes as a surprise, the Czech Masters to be held in late August has also off the Tour’s ‘Race to Dubai’ schedule.
In speaking with Scott on the eve of the Players Championship we had news here in the US that the NBA has suspended the remainder of the 2020 season after a Utah ‘Jazz’ player tested positive to the Coronavirus.
USA President Donald Trump has also slapped a 30-day ban on flights from most of Europe, which does not include Ireland or the UK at present, that will seriously affect those coming from Ireland and the Continent wishing to attend the Masters.
And we have the World Health Organisation (WHO) now calling the worldwide outbreak a ‘pandemic’.
The Masters organisers released a statement last week indicating they were monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak concern and where quietly confident the 84th hosting of the Masters will go ahead though that would seem under a cloud given the widespread cancellation across the US of sporting evens.
In 2013, Scott brilliantly ended the long Australian golfing victory drought at Augusta in winning in a play-off over Argentina’s Angel Cabrera.
And it was the Masters patrons, over the closing few holes, that Scott said helped carry him to victory on the Georgia golfing gem.
“In winning the Masters, I felt the crowd was strongly in my favour in the play-off heading down the 10th hole,” said Scott.
“That is what I felt and that was so helpful. I said it also at the Presidents Cup late last year in Melbourne, and it hasn’t happened that often, but the mainly Australian crowd support helped so much and we were so close to victory, and it really helped our team that week.
“The crowd got on our backs a bit more so there has been many times where I have felt the crowd support has been helpful but then if there is no-one there at all then that will not be helpful.
“So, I wouldn’t be surprised, no! It’s trending that way, isn’t it? Hopefully, we can get to the summer, with some people saying the virus will die off, though I learn today the European Tour has cancelled the Czech Masters in Prague and that was to take place at the end of August.
“My biggest fear is that the PGA Championship in San Francisco is more likely not to go ahead as I learn also the city has cancelled events over there of gatherings of a thousand or more people.
“From a personal viewpoint, I would rather it gets played than being cancelled.”