When Will the Masters 2020 Be Played? Golf's First Major of the Season Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The Masters Tournament is the latest sporting event to fall victim to the coronavirus outbreak and has been postponed to a yet to be determined date.

Golf's first major of the season, the Masters has never been played outside March or April and had been held without interruption for the last 74 years in its traditional home of Augusta, Georgia.

Since its inception in 1936, the tournament had only been called off between 1943 and 1945, due to the Second World War.

Since 1946, it has never been held outside the first two weeks of April and was scheduled to run from April 9 to 12 this year, but tournament organizers felt it could not go ahead in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision," Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, said in a statement on Friday morning.

"We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date."

It remains to be seen whether the calendar will be altered to accommodate the Masters before the three other majors of the season. The PGA Championship is scheduled to be held at TPC Harding in San Francisco, California, between May 14 to May 17, with the U.S. Open to be staged at Winged Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, between June 18 and June 21.

The Open Championship is the last of the four majors on the calendar and is scheduled for July 16 through to July 19 at the Royal St. George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England.

The decision to postpone The Masters comes less than a day after the PGA Tour decided to cancel the remaining three rounds of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Tiger Woods, The Masters
Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. Andrew Redington/Getty

The PGA Tour had initially announced the first round of The Players Championship would go ahead as normal, while the remaining three rounds of its flagship event would be played without fans. Late on Thursday night, however, the organization opted to cancel the tournament altogether.

The next three events on the PGA Tour's calendar—the Valspar Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Valero Texas Open—have also been called off.

"It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of The Players Championship," the tour said in a statement. "We have also decided to cancel all PGA Tour events—across all of our Tours—in the coming weeks, through 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 endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate.

"But at this point—and as the situation continues to rapidly change—the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause."

Golf is just one of a myriad of sporting events to have been canceled across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA and NHL have both suspended their seasons, while the MLB has postponed the beginning of its season by at least two weeks.

The NCAA has canceled March Madness and its winter and spring tournaments, while the MLS has suspended proceedings for a month. In Europe, the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A soccer leagues have all been postponed, as have the Champions League and the Europa League.

Over 4,700 people have died since the outbreak of coronavirus began in Wuhan, a city located in China's central Hubei province, late last year. There are over 128,000 cases globally, with 68,000 recovered.

As of Friday morning, over 1,600 cases have been reported in the U.S., with 40 deaths and 12 people recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.

This chart provided by Statista illustrates the spread of the pandemic across the U.S.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in US
This chart shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. as of Friday at 6 a.m. ET. Statista