PGA Championship will go on as planned at Harding Park, but without fans

The PGA Championship was given the go-ahead to be played at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park as planned, but will do so without fans. It will be the first major championship in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was previously rescheduled from May to August.

The state of California, as well as the city and county of San Francisco, coordinated with the PGA of America to make the decision to stay at the course and go on without spectators. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in mid-May that sports could return to California by the first week of June.

“We are both inspired and honored to 'play on,’” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh in a statement. "In doing so, we will spotlight not only the beauty of TPC Harding Park, but the fortitude of San Francisco and its remarkable people.

“We'd like to thank the state of California and the city and county of San Francisco for being terrific partners in helping us get to this place.

“While the local community cannot be with us physically on-site, we will certainly carry their spirit of resilience and unity with us as we stage our major championship, on their behalf, for all the world to see and enjoy.”

San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed credited the efforts of the city’s citizens during the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to welcome the PGA Championship to San Francisco,” said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. “We are able to safely take this step toward reopening because of the ongoing sacrifices of our citizens, the continued committed work of our healthcare workers and the early action we took to battle COVID-19.”

The PGA Championship was originally scheduled for May 14-17. It was rescheduled to Aug. 6-9. Brooks Koepka is the two-time reigning champion with a victory at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, last year.

The tour considered moving the championship to another location, and pondered plans with limited fans in attendance. Early plans had up to 40,000 fans at the course, which is hosting its first major. Per ESPN, the tour hoped it could host at least some fans at TPC Harding since Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is allowing approximately 8,000 spectators per day at next month’s Memorial Tournament.

The PGA Tour returned at Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, the weekend of June 13-14 after a three-month hiatus.

The slate continued this weekend at the the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The PGA Tour had its first competitor test positive for COVID-19 on Friday and Justin Thomas slammed the conditions in Hilton Head, calling it an “absolute zoo” with people all over the place in close quarters.

The 2020 PGA Championship will remain in San Francisco, albeit without fans. (Photo by Gary Kellner/PGA of America via Getty Images)

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