PGA Championship to go ahead without fans

LOS ANGELES • The PGA Championship will be held in August, but without fans after California health officials on Monday gave the green light to the first major championship of 2020, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The tournament scheduled for August 6-9 in San Francisco had hoped to attract up to 40,000 fans a day at Harding Park golf course, but that was before the US PGA Tour was shutdown because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Harding Park last held a PGA event in 2015 and has never hosted a major championship. Constructions on grandstands were already underway when the Tour was shutdown in March at the Players Championship.

Brooks Koepka (picture) will defend his title at Harding Park, where he’ll look to become the first player to win three straight PGA Championships since Walter Hagen won four in a row from 1924-27.

Daniel Berger parred the first extra hole to beat Collin Morikawa in a playoff as the Tour made a muted return from the pandemic in Fort Worth, Texas. The next four events of the restart will also be played without spectators.

The first tournament to have fans will be The Memorial, July 16-19 in Dublin, Ohio. Officials are planning for up to 8,000 fans per day at Muirfield Village.

After the Charles Schwab, the PGA Tour will feature the RBC Heritage (June 18-21) in Hilton Head, South Carolina; the Travellers Championship (June 25-28) in Cromwell, Connecticut; and the Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 2-5) in Detroit, Michigan.

The US Open is rescheduled for Sept 17-20 in New York. — AFP