It was nine days ago when Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley released a statement reassuring the golf world that the Masters, along with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, might go on as scheduled.
Ridley said at that time:
“The safety, health and well-being of everyone is our top priority at Augusta National Golf Club. We will continue to review the available facts and information with the experts and authorities, establish precautions and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all involved.”
Things changed quickly and The 2020 playing of The Masters has been postponed.
Citing the “ever-increasing risks” of the global pandemic, Augusta National made the unprecedented move to delay the year’s first major.
Ridley’s statement read:
“Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. 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 world in general has changed since then and on Thursday, the world of sports took it on the chin.
The NCAA Basketball Championships were cancelled. So were all spring NCAA championships. The NBA is out of business for now, same for the NHL and Major League Baseball.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 as a global pandemic. WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated: “We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction.”
Following all these developments, Ridley and The Masters committees had put “all options on the table” in regards to the Masters.
With no Masters, there will be no Augusta National Women’s Amateur, no Pitch-Putt-Drive competition.
Ridley acted swiftly and fell in line with all the other major sports.
Thursday evening, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan pulled the plug on The Players Championship, a tournament he called “Our Super Bowl.”