News & Opinion

Masters halts ticket process amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Masters
Augusta National Golf Club, site of the annual Masters Tournament

Augusta National tells ticket holders that it will decide by end of January about spectator policy for April 8-11 Masters, report says

Don’t expect to hear cascading roars sweep across Augusta National Golf Club in April at the Masters. Not the way things are going with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Masters officials have delayed the traditional ticketing process that was scheduled to have commenced Jan. 1, according to a report by ESPN.com’s Bob Harig.

“As planning continues on how to stage the 2021 Masters Tournament safely and responsibly, we would like to inform you that Augusta National is delaying the ticket process for Patron Series Badges, which traditionally begins Jan. 1,” the club said in an email to ticket holders, according to Harig’s report. “Our intention is to communicate our decisions for the 2021 Masters to all patrons of record by the end of January. No further action is needed with your account at this time.”

The Masters is scheduled for April 8-11, only six months after Dustin Johnson won the 84th edition, which had been postponed until November because of the pandemic. No spectators were permitted at Augusta National.

Since the PGA Tour resumed play in June, only two tournaments allowed spectators: 500 per day at the Bermuda Championship on Oct. 29-Nov. 1 and 2,000 per day at the next week’s Houston Open.

This year, the first four events, in Hawaii and California, will ban spectators before the Phoenix Open on Feb. 4-7 admits an undetermined number of fans.

Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour’s commissioner, said in a conference call last month that he hopes to begin taking steps toward normalcy at the Arnold Palmer Championship on March 4-7 at Bay Hill in Orlando, the first stop on the annual Florida Swing.

According to Doug Ferguson, the golf writer for The Associated Press, the Masters field lists 84 qualifiers entering the new year. There are only two ways to earn a spot for the 85th Masters, Ferguson noted in a recent report: win one of the PGA Tour’s 13 tournaments that offer full FedEx Cup points between now and the Masters, or move into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking by early April.

This year, once again, the Masters will prove to be the toughest ticket in sports – on both sides of the ropes, should any need to be erected.

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.