Live Golf News Updates from April 6
10:00 p.m. EST, April 6, 2020
Our live coverage of the coronavirus has moved here.
Here we will post the latest COVID-19 golf news and updates for April 6. (All times Eastern)
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8:08 p.m. -- There will be no PGA Tour golf for at least several more weeks, but the Arizona-based Outlaw Tour, with its $4,500 top prizes, remains in full swing, as Arizona courses have been deemed essential businesses. Yahoo reports that competitors include Tom Lehman's two sons, Thomas and Sean, and 49-year-old Tour vet Alex Cejka.
5:47 p.m. -- There's no shortage of local stories of how the virus is affecting area golf. In Louisville, golf remains open, and residents are teeing off as a means of escape from all the tough news off the course.
3:45 p.m. -- The new PGA Tour schedule was a fluid negotiation, and Golfweek reports that if the R&A hadn't cancelled its 2020 event, the USGA was making contingency plans to stage the US Open in December at Riviera.
11:28 a.m. -- The PGA Tour scheduling dominoes have fallen into place. The U.S. Open has been rescheduled for Sept. 13-20 and the Masters is now on the books for Nov. 9-15. We'll have a full roundup of new schedule shortly, but you can also find it on the PGA Tour's site.
11:16: a.m. -- The R&A has cancelled the 2020 British Open, officials announced in a statement this morning, citing concerns about the widening coronavirus pandemic. The event was scheduled to have been played July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England. It is the first time that golf’s oldest championship, which dates to 1860, has been canceled since the 1940-45 editions because of World War II. The 149th Open will be played at Royal St. George’s on July 15-18 next year, pushing the 150th Open back a year, to 2020 at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. “Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive. “We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do.” More details can be found at the Morning Read.
10:05 a.m. -- After covering the Masters every year since 1993, golf journalist Gary D'Amato reflects on what he'll miss most this week with the postponement of the first major of 2020 in his excellent piece on Wisconsin.Golf.
8:45 a.m. -- The European Tour has announced postponement of the Trophee Hassan II tournament in Morocco (scheduled for June 4 – 7) as well as the cancelation of the inaugural Scandinavian Mixed event in Sweden (scheduled for June 11 – 14). With the announcement, 13 European Tour events have either been postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. The earliest possible event in Europe would be the BMW International Open in Germany, slated for June 25 – 28.
8:33 a.m. -- In central New York’s Onondaga County, which includes the Syracuse metro area, all golf courses will suspend operations starting Monday, April 6, at 8 p.m. County Executive Ryan McMahon announced the order during a Sunday press briefing yesterday. The order applies to all golf courses within the county, both public and private. The only exemption are golf courses owned or operated by the state.
8:25 a.m. -- In Fresno, Calif., golfers are petitioning the local government to include golf as an “essential business.” Fresno’s shelter-in-place orders, issued by Mayor Lee Brand with the backing of the Fresno City Council, have been in effect since March 19 as part of the city’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“There are people who are outside, walking around at the parks, in their neighborhoods, on the streets,” says local attorney Adam Stirrup in a Fresno Bee article. “And that’s all encouraged as long as people maintain social distancing. We respect that. What we’re asking is for the city to allow the club’s private members to walk their golf course and play golf.”
8:15 a.m. -- In Canada, the city of Brampton, which is part of the greater Toronto area in Ontario with a population of more than 600,000 has started levying fines on golfers caught out on the links. All parks and playgrounds have been closed in Brampton since March 26, but residents have been flouting the rules with golf clubs in tow.
Based on new social distancing bylaws signed by Brampton’s mayor, Patrick Brown, anyone caught playing golf on city courses will face a fine of anywhere from $500 to a whopping $100,000 (in Canadian dollars).
7:58 a.m. -- In Texas, the city of Austin’s public golf courses will be closed starting today (Monday) as the city continues to enact procedures for more robust social distancing practices to aid in slowing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, play while walking on the public courses was allowed during the city’s stay-at-home, work safe order.