Opinion: Masters with limited attendance becoming a new tradition unlike any other

HomeLife & Style

Opinion: Masters with limited attendance becoming a new tradition unlike any other

At the spectator-less November Masters, there was the hope that the 2021 tournament would be able to be played as close to normal as possible, with

Super Bowl attendance will be 22,000; 7,500 vaccinated health care workers going for free
Fact check: Attendance at Biden's inauguration was restricted by COVID-19 pandemic
Church attendance drops below 50% in US, poll finds


At the spectator-less November Masters, there was the hope that the 2021 tournament would be able to be played as close to normal as possible, with throngs of golf fans returning to the game’s American mecca.

Those dreams were dashed Tuesday morning when Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, announced that the club “intends to limit attendance” at the April event, employing the bubble-like health and safety standards that were used two months ago for the delayed 2020 tournament.

“With these protocols in place, efforts are being made to include a limited number of patrons, provided it can be done safely,” Ridley said.

When a sport that is played outside, with built-in social distancing, cannot bring back the multitudes, the message is clear: COVID-19 rages on. The threat is real. It is real for everyone, especially middle-aged and older golf fans, most of them male. No responsible sports organization can think or say otherwise.

The Master in November had limited attendance, as will the 2021 version.

“As with the November Masters, we will implement practices and policies that will protect the health and safety of everyone in attendance,” Ridley said. “Nothing is, or will be, more important than the well-being of all involved.”

As devastating as this news is for the local economy, Augusta National’s decision is both a wake-up call and an exhibition of serious and responsible leadership. Even though there are acres and acres of land at the club, and plenty of room to roam, the Masters has prudently decided it just cannot yet safely bring back many of its fans while the world is still in the throes of this terrible pandemic.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0