The coronavirus has been a disaster for the country on multiple fronts.
The death toll and economic despair are obviously the worst consequences, but the damage to sports and entertainment have only added to the country’s psychological anguish.
And now COVID-19 could ruin one iconic golf tournament in 2020.
The Masters golf tournament, one of the four majors in the PGA, was postponed until November because of the pandemic, but even now local officials are suggesting it should be played without fans in the gallery.
Golf is a quiet sport, but fans add to the anxiety and tension of the moment, especially during the action late in the rounds.
Major League Baseball and the NBA have returned with no fans – and decreased ratings – and the experience has been bizarre to say the least.
Cardboard cutouts in the stands with piped-in crowd noise simply isn’t the same thing.
Augusta mayor Hardie Davis has already conceded it’s likely fans won’t be present for the tournament:
“I think that based on everything I know about what’s taking place at Augusta National, they’ve been on the front lines of reviewing what the PGA is doing. I think, as you see, the tournament’s happening tomorrow – the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park – without fans. And that’s likely what probably will happen here in Augusta. We have a tournament without fans.”
If the unthinkable happens and the event gets canceled outright, it would be the first time since World War II, a chilling factoid that has cropped up recently.
For example, Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II.
NCAA’s March Madness was also canceled.
The French Open was postponed, and the U.S. Open has been plagued by many of the top players – including the defending champion – opting out of the tournament.
College football and the NFL are tenuously slated to happen, but they’re on the brink of being canceled as well.
Only time will tell and Sports with Balls will be sure to keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.