Masters is lat­est ma­jor to keep away spec­ta­tors due to health con­cerns

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport -

No spec­ta­tors will be al­lowed at Au­gusta Na­tional for this year’s Masters be­cause of on­go­ing fears over Covid-19.

The cham­pi­onship was due to take place from April 9-12, but has been post­poned un­til Nov 12-15.

Fred Ri­d­ley, chair­man of Au­gusta Na­tional Golf Club, said: “Since our ini­tial an­nounce­ment to post­pone the 2020 Masters we have re­mained com­mit­ted to a resched­uled tour­na­ment in Novem­ber while con­tin­u­ally ex­am­in­ing how best to host a global sport­ing event amid this pan­demic.

“As we have con­sid­ered the is­sues fac­ing us, the health and safety of ev­ery­one as­so­ci­ated with the Masters al­ways has been our first and most im­por­tant pri­or­ity.

“Through­out this process, we have con­sulted with health of­fi­cials and a va­ri­ety of sub­ject mat­ter ex­perts. Ul­ti­mately, we de­ter­mined that the po­ten­tial risks of wel­com­ing pa­trons and guests to our grounds in Novem­ber are sim­ply too sig­nif­i­cant to over­come.”

The USPGA Cham­pi­onship was held suc­cess­fully without spec­ta­tors last week and the US Open is due to take place in Septem­ber. The Open Cham­pi­onship is the only one of the four ma­jors to have been post­poned un­til next year.

Mean­while, for­mer Ry­der Cup player Gor­don J Brand has died at the age of 65 fol­low­ing a short ill­ness.

Brand was a mem­ber of the 1983 Ry­der Cup team who lost to the US by just a point at PGA Na­tional Golf Club in Florida and an­other ca­reer high­light was fin­ish­ing run­ner-up to Greg Nor­man at the 1986 Open at Turn­berry.

The English­man’s only Euro­pean Tour vic­tory came at the Bel­gian Open in 1989, win­ning by six strokes from Mark Davis.

Keith Wa­ters, the Euro­pean Tour’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said: “Gor­don had such a laid-back ap­proach. I don’t think I ever saw him up up­tight. He re­ally was so friendly to ev­ery­one and he will be sorely missed by all of us who met him and knew him.”

Mourned: For­mer Ry­der Cup player and Open run­ner-up Gor­don J Brand has died aged 65 fol­low­ing a short ill­ness

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