The PLAYERS Championship Has Been Canceled Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Mar 13, 2020

The PGA Tour is cancelling the rest of The Players Championship and shutting down its other tournaments through the first week of April.

The change was made just hours after plans were announced Thursday to play the final three rounds of the tournament without fans.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan explained the decision to cancel in a Friday morning news conference.

“We quickly  determined that we were not gonna have fans today and through the weekend and I was really proud of the plan we have in place…and ultimately, we used the day to get as much info as we could to make the right decision…and we’ve made the decision and obviously, we’re not playing today and not playing the Valero Open,” said Monahan. 

In the neighboring state of Georgia, the PGA Tour has also postponed The Masters in Augusta indefinitely.

WJCT Sports Analyst Cole Pepper said Friday morning it was clear that input from players helped guide the PGA Tour's decision.

“Some were concerned about the possibility of picking up the corona virus and not so much for themselves but passing it on to others. Rory McIlroy, for one said, he was concerned about it because his mother has respiratory issues and he didn't want to be in a situation where he was giving it to her CT Pan, the Taiwanese golfer, pulled out of the tournament beforehand and certainly that was one voice considered as well,” Pepper said.

The PLAYERS Tournament has also announced refund plans. 

For purchases made through THEPLAYERS.com via Ticketmaster, a refund will be issued automatically from Ticketmaster. Refunds should be received within 7-10 days. To check on the status, visit https://www.ticketmaster.com/h/returns.html or call (800-653-8000).

For General Admission Stadium Passes or Captain's Club purchases made through the phone or the PGA TOUR APP, a refund will be issued automatically. 

For purchases made through third party purchases (i.e. StubHub, Seat Geek, Vivid Seats, etc.) reach out to the agency where the ticket was purchased.

Parking passes will receive a refund from ParkMobile.  Refund requests can be made by calling (866-330-7275).

Additional information about refunds is available on this PLAYERS webpage.

EARLIER THURSDAY AFTERNOON PLAYERS STORY: PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has announced The PLAYERS Championship will go forward but without fans in attendance as a precaution against the spread of the Coronavirus.

“I’ve spoken to President Trump this morning, and I spoke to Governor Ron DeSantis a few hours ago as well.  Our team is in constant communication with local health authorities in each market in which our tournaments are played, and we are tracking and monitoring the health information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization in addition to the travel advisories provided by the U.S. State Department.  Both the White House and the Governor’s office have been and are supportive of the precautionary measures we have taken to this point,” Monahan said.

The no-fans policy is being implemented starting Friday at all PGA Tour events, including The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Related: Daytona Bike Week Motorcyclist Becomes St. Johns County’s 1st Documented Coronavirus Case

“We will continue The PLAYERS with essential personnel only, and we will be in direct conversations with those groups (vendors, broadcasters, media, player support groups, essential volunteers) to provide instructions,” said Monahan.

The PGA TOUR also announced fans can request a refund or exchange. At the time of this story’s publication, refund details were still being determined.

The PGA TOUR has put together a FAQ page for fans seeking additional information.

Fans watch Webb Simpson at The PLAYERS Championship Thursday.
Credit HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT News

A sparse crowd sits around the 18th green, during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday.
Credit Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

For those that were planning to attend The PLAYERS Championship and wish to watch it on TV, parts of it will be broadcast on WTLV-NBC 12, while other parts will be televised on NBC Sports Gold. The full TV schedule can be found on golfchannel.com.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Michelle Corum can be reached at mcorum@wjct.org, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.