09 April 2020
Three Hours Heading the Cancellation
At 6:45 pm on the first day of the PLAYERS Championship, the PGA Tour released an “operations update” outlining who would be allowed on property for the final three days. This was an effort by the Tour to minimize the spread of COVID-19 that has been spreading globally since the beginning of the year. However, within the next three hours, players received text messages stating that the PLAYERS Championship was canceled.
It had only been a matter of hours since the first round wrapped up without any incident when the Tour released their surprise decision. Despite the implementation of extensive precautions to create a safe environment for the players to compete within, it seemed that it had not been enough to ease the participants concerns as the virus continued to spread at an alarming rate worldwide.
“We received some of the questions, particularly from international players who were trying to figure out; had a lot of uncertainty, trying to figure out what they do with their family, how they get home, how they get their families here, and just uncertainty for a number of players generally,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a press conference.
As the situation continued to escalate with more unknown factors coming into the equation, the PGA Tour decided to call it a day. It was a decision that had not come easily, especially considering that the PLAYERS is the Tour’s flagship event, but one that became necessary with more important matters to consider.
“Our goal now is to focus on a plan for the near and long-term and maintain the strength we've built through our organization over the past 51 years, and I'm confident we'll do exactly that,” Monahan added.
The cancellation of the PLAYERS Championship adds it to the list of other sporting events that have been canceled in light of the virus. A day before the PLAYERS, the NCAA announced the cancellation of the men’s and women’s basketball tournament following the NBA postponing their season earlier Thursday after a player on the Utah Jazz team, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for the coronavirus. One by one, every sport is succumbing to the pressure to protect against COVID-19.