US Open Golf : After PGA Championships, US Open Golf to be played without spectators

At least two of the three majors this year will be played without spectators. A week before the PGA Championship begins without spectators, the U.S. Open announced Wednesday it would not have fans Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in New York because of health and safety concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA.

“Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” added Davis.

US Open Golf to be played without spectators

Winged Foot is located in Mamaroneck, New York, which is in Westchester County, one of the original hotspots for the virus. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said even a U.S. Open without fans would be “a welcome sight for sports fans across the country and will help restore a sense of normalcy as we build back better than before.”

No tournament has been played with fans on-site since the PGA Tour restarted its season in mid-June. Only this week, at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, did the Tour begin to allow a maximum of 50 sponsor guests a day at tournament sites, but those attendees don’t have access to the course or any face-to-face interaction with the competitors. It’s not yet known when fans will next be allowed at Tour events, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan said officials are “hopeful” to have spectators sometime in the “back quarter of the year.”

“This will not be a typical U.S. Open in several respects,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships. “Would it have been easier to simply cancel or even move the 2020 championship rather than play it in what has been the epicenter of the virus in our country?

Possibly. But all of us at the USGA know how much the U.S. Open matters, and we weren’t willing to give up on playing it at Winged Foot Golf Club so easily.”

The British Open was canceled in April.

The Masters moved to Nov. 12-15, and Augusta National is still contemplating what it can accommodate at its private club. With the event still more than three months away, no decisions have been reached as the club weighs various options.