The Masters Tournament joins a long list of professional, college and high school sporting events postponed amid concerns of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.
Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley released a statement on Friday morning postponing the Masters, the Augusta National Women's Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
"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," he said.
PGA officials canceled the Players Championship and its next three weeks of events on Thursday. The Masters Tournament is just another major sporting event added to the list of cancellations.
Ridley said in the statement that they will continue to lean on health officials and local authorities for advice and guidance.
"We will continue to work with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the City of Augusta and all other local authorities. We are grateful to all of these entities for their exceptional efforts and guidance.
We recognize this decision will affect many people, including our loyal patrons. Your patience as we make every effort to communicate effectively and efficiently is appreciated, and we will share any additional information as soon as it becomes available. Updates also will be posted to our website, Masters.com.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding of this decision and know you share our concern given these trying times. Thank you for your faithful support."
The Masters Tournament postponement comes as no surprise as the NCAA axed the men's and women's basketball tournaments, slated to start next week. The NBA is done for now. Major League Baseball has nixed Spring Training and delayed the start of the regular season for at least two weeks. Major League Soccer has suspended play as well.
NASCAR had planned to race this weekend's events without fans but switched gears and postponed the Atlanta race and next weekend's Miami race.