The first major championship of 2020 will be conducted without fans, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The PGA Championship has already been postponed from its original May dates at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to Aug. 6-9 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While officials maintained hope that fans would be able to attend the event in some capacity, the decision has reportedly been made that no fans will be allowed on property during tournament week, with an announcement from the PGA of America expected on Tuesday. A GolfChannel.com request for comment from the PGA of America was not immediately returned.
According to the report, PGA officials had hoped to host up to 40,000 fans per day at Harding Park, which has never before hosted a major championship and which last hosted a PGA Tour event in 2015 when Rory McIlroy won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Fans who had purchased tickets to the tournament will reportedly receive a refund.
Grandstand construction had begun at Harding Park earlier this year before coronavirus entered the lexicon but was put on pause in mid-March by shelter-in-place orders from San Francisco mayor London Breed. Subsequent declarations from state and local officials have paved the way for the event to remain on schedule, now less than two months away, but only under a spectator-free scenario.
Each of the first five PGA Tour events since the pandemic struck, including last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, will be played without fans. The July 16-19 Memorial Tournament is expected to be the first event run by a U.S. professional sports league to include on-site spectators, with officials planning for up to 8,000 fans per day at Muirfield Village. Decisions on potential fan scenarios at other future Tour events have not yet been announced.
Brooks Koepka will defend his title this summer at TPC Harding Park, where he’ll look to become the first player to win three straight PGA Championships since Walter Hagen won four in a row from 1924-27.