Masters Golf Tournament Postponed in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

Augusta National Golf Club postponed next month's Masters golf tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Augusta National Golf Club said Friday that next month's Masters golf tournament has been postponed, the latest in a series of major events that have been delayed or canceled in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Masters was scheduled to begin April 9.

"Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread coronavirus Covid-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances," Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement.

Ridley added that "we hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date."

The Masters Tournament, which dates to 1934, has never been played outside March or April, ESPN reported. Tiger Woods is the defending champion at the Masters.

The announcement follows the Professional Golfers Association Tour's cancellation of the Players Championship and three other PGA Tour events leading into the first major championship of the year.

“We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event through the weekend,” the tour said in a statement. 

“But at this point — and as the situation continues to rapidly change — the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”

All competitors split half the $15 million prize purse.

On Wednesday, the National Basketball Association said it was suspending all future games until further notice because a player on the Utah Jazz team had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The National Hockey League also said it would suspend play amid the coronavirus outbreak. Likewise, Major League Soccer and England's elite soccer leagues

In addition, Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Report on Thursday announced the temporary closure of the Disneyland Resort and the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim in response to the pandemic. And Broadway theaters will be going dark for a month.