The Masters: PGA Tour stars back decision to postpone major
"I don't care if it's 25 degrees and nobody is there, I'm going to go play it with a chance to win the Masters"
By Keith Jackson at TPC Sawgrass
Last Updated: 13/03/20 9:35pm
Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Paul Casey were among the PGA Tour stars to express their disappointment at hearing The Masters will not be played next month.
But as they collected their clubs and belongings from TPC Sawgrass following the cancellation of The Players Championship, all the players were unanimous in backing the decision to suspend all professional golf activity due to the threat of coronavirus.
After the PGA Tour announced that the next four events on their schedule would not go ahead this year, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley issued a statement confirming that the Masters will not be played next month, although it is hoped that the tournament can be rescheduled later this year.
Here's what the players told the Golf Channel on Friday...
"The Masters is my favourite tournament of the year, so I obviously have hopes that we'll get to play it, and whenever we do, we do. I don't care if it's 25 degrees and nobody is there, I'm going to go play it with a chance to win the Masters.
"But again, that is down the road. And at this point I'm just worried about trying to get home right now and figure out what I'm going to do for a couple weeks and wonder what I'm preparing for next. It's just a wild, wild time right now.
"To me it almost seemed like it was just inevitable as far as where things were heading across our country in sports and through different organisations and things like that. You know, I stick by the PGA Tour and Jay Monahan and everyone's decision to obviously move forward with what everyone else is doing, as well.
"And the Masters being postponed, it's all about the safety and wellness of our country and all the people. I mean, it's just golf. It's just a game that we get to play, which is pretty special. But outside of golf and sports and stuff like that, life is a lot bigger than sports and golf. So to have some tournaments cancelled or postponed, it is what it is."
"Well, postponed is a comforting word. Cancelled is another. As long as it says postponed, I think the players will find hope in that word and just wait for go time."
"Not surprised, not surprised at all. You know, this is now a pandemic. The ladies and gentlemen that run that great event have very smart minds and are taking the right precautions."
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"There's a lot of crazy things going on. You know, the world is going to end; obviously we feel like that at this point in the golf community with the Masters being postponed. I don't know if that's ever happened before. But I'm happy they didn't say it was cancelled. So hopefully we play in the future."
"I think right now everyone is nervous about what has been going around, but I think it's the necessary steps that need to be taken in regards to the safety and health of not only players, but just the general population. Obviously we need to get in front of this and try and make sure that we don't have any setbacks going forward.
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"I think that's the main key is to understanding what we're trying to obviously get past and moving on from there. But I think Augusta made the right decision in that."