The PGA Tour’s Players Championship at Sawgrass was cancelled after the first round on Thursday owing to the coronavirus.
While organisers had planned to play the last three rounds without spectators, a decision was later taken to abandon the tournament, as well as the next three weeks of PGA Tour events.
“We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavouring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.
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
“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.”
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama was the first-round leader after a superb nine-under 63, which put him two shots in front of a three-way tie for second.
Graeme McDowell shot a four-under-par 68, while fellow Northern Irishman and defending champion Rory McIlroy carded a 72.
In women’s golf, the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year, is among five tournaments to be cancelled.