PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has
denied reports that May's PGA Championship could be moved from San
Francisco to Sawgrass due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
However, Monahan admits that the Tour is continuing to make
contingency plans "for a lot of different scenarios" around its own
tournaments "given that this is an unprecedented situation".
The South by Southwest festival which was due to take place from
13-22 March in Austin, Texas was cancelled last week but the WGC-Dell
Technologies Match Play is currently scheduled to be held in Austin from
"The health, safety and well-being of our players, our fans,
everybody that's involved in our ecosystem is of utmost importance,"
Monahan told a press conference ahead of the Players Championship at
"It's a very dynamic situation but I am really proud of the amount of
effort and thought that's going into not only where we stand today, but
the commitment to gain as much information as we can and, candidly, to
contingency plan for a lot of different scenarios given that this is an
unprecedented situation," he said.
"At this point everybody is planning on moving forward full speed
ahead exercising their tournaments but also keeping an open mind to the
information that's coming there."
The PGA of America said in a statement that reports that the PGA
Championship would relocate from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to
Sawgrass were "inaccurate".
But although Monahan also said that was the case, he stressed the
need for golf's authorities to "work as closely together as you ever
have to help each other get through this."
"We've really got to listen and respond to the real
information that we're receiving on the ground and it's important for us
to present a completed FedEx Cup schedule this year. If we can do that,
that's what we're going to do as good partners to the game," added Monahan.
Several sports have responded to the coronavirus outbreak by playing
matches behind closed doors and Monahan hinted that holding the WGC-Dell
Technologies Match Play without spectators present could be an option.
"This thing is so dynamic that we have to go hour to hour, day to
day, but right now we have every assurance that we will be in Austin for
the event," he added.
"There are different ways of operating an event based on the
circumstances in terms of fan involvement and how we operate the event."
- TEAMtalk media