Yesterday afternoon, the PGA Tour announced the final three rounds of The Players Championship would be played without spectators. Just a few hours later they changed their minds, cancelling the event and all upcoming tournaments through the Valero Texas Open, amid concerns over Coronavirus.
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of The Players Championship,” the Tour’s statement on their website began. “We have also decided to cancel all PGA Tour events - across all of our Tours - in the coming weeks, through to the Valero Texas Open.”
“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. 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 LPGA has also cancelled their next three tournaments, including 2020’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, and two upcoming events on the Symetra Tour.
“This is a difficult situation and as we navigate these uncertain times, we appreciate the support of all those involved with the LPGA. I am fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule, especially our first major, the ANA Inspiration,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. Adding, “We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation with our global health partners and are planning for different scenarios for future LPGA events should they be necessary.”
But it isn’t just golf that’s being affected, the entire sports world is now feeling the brunt of COVID-19. Today it was revealed Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the virus as well as Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi. Arsenal’s game against Brighton on Saturday has been postponed and the Premier League is expected to hold “an emergency club meeting” on Friday to discuss future games.
The Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled for this weekend after a McLaren team member tested positive for the disease. McLaren have now confirmed 14 members of their team are in quarantine at the team hotel for the next 14 days. On Thursday, before the cancellation, Lewis Hamilton gave a scathing interview about F1 traveling to Australia in the first place.
“I am really very, very surprised that we are here,” he said. “I think it’s really shocking that we are all sitting in this room. There are so many fans here today and it seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late, but we have already seen this morning that [American president Donald] Trump has shut down the borders with Europe to the States and you are seeing the NBA being suspended, yet Formula One continues to go on.”
When further probed as to why he thought they were there, Hamilton replied, “Cash is king. I can’t add much more to it. I don’t feel like I should shy away from my opinion.”
Over in the United States, the NCAA has cancelled the men’s Division I college basketball tournament, known as March Madness. After a second Utah Jazz player in the NBA tested positive for the disease, the league announced late Wednesday night that the remainder of their season would be suspended indefinitely. The Jazz were supposed to be playing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday when officials called over both head coaches to discuss the situation. Both teams went back to their locker rooms, with announcers confirming the cancellation of the game about 30 minutes later.
This morning it was announced England Cricket’s tour of Sri Lanka had been called off after some apparent unease about the situation within the squad.
An ECB spokesperson confirmed the decision stating, “At this time, the physical and mental wellbeing of our players and support teams is paramount. We will now look to bring them home to their families as soon as possible. These are completely unprecedented times, and decisions like this go beyond cricket.”
Unprecedented times for sure. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the disease. For the latest advice and information regarding Coronavirus, please visit: