In an unprecedented decision, the PGA Tour alerted its members around 9:50 p.m. EST on Thursday night that the Players Championship, as well as the next four events on the PGA Tour schedule, had been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of The Players Championship,” the PGA Tour said in a short statement released shortly after the initial text message was sent to players. “We have also decided to cancel all PGA Tour events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.”
The PGA Tour’s decision came less than 12 hours after an announcement and press conference from commissioner Jay Monahan in which he stated the Tour’s plan to continue the Players, as well as events in the foreseeable future, without spectators.
It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship and all events through the Valero Texas Open. https://t.co/r01TeB83yK
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 13, 2020
However, facing mounting pressure, both internally and externally, as sports leagues around the world took precautions against the pandemic via cancelations and postponements, the Tour made the decision to suspend future events through the first week of April.
The events that will be impacted aside from The Players are the Valspar Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship and the Valero Texas Open.
“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process,” the Tour statement continued. “We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. 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.”
The Tour will hold a press conference on Friday morning at 8 a.m. EST to answer further questions about the decision.
This is the first time that a PGA Tour has canceled an event unrelated to weather since September 11, 2001, and the first time one of the five biggest events — the Players Championship or a major championship — has been canceled since World War II.
The next event on the PGA Tour calendar is The Masters, which is scheduled to begin on April 9.