Get used to tournaments without spectators, golf fans. Especially at major championships.
On Wednesday the USGA announced via a release that, “Due to ongoing health and safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic and in consultation with the state of New York, the USGA will conduct the 120th U.S. Open Championship on Sept. 14-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., without on-site spectators.”
“Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” said USGA CEO Mike Davis. “We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo broke the news late Wednesday morning during a briefing. The USGA learned from state officials this week that Cuomo was going to give the go-ahead for the U.S. Open with the understanding that attendance be limited to essential personnel.
Golf’s first major championship of the renovated 2020 season takes place next week with the PGA Championship at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park, also without fans. Then the U.S. Open, followed by the Masters, now scheduled for Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National. No word yet from Augusta National whether fans will be allowed on site. The 149th Open Championship was postponed until July 2021.
Mike Dougherty of the Rockland/Westchester Journal News contributed to this article.