DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — Golf will likely be played at Muirfield Village in July, and it appears fans will be allowed to watch it unfold in-person. But the rest of the plan for the Memorial Tournament remains a work in-progress.
Thursday morning, Tournament Director Dan Sullivan updated plans for the Memorial Tournament as he addressed viewers of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission Virtual Sports Report. The tournament was delayed from its original scheduled date and will now be played July 13-19 in Dublin.
“Everyone is obviously very cautious. We want to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, that we’re paying attention to their health as well as our health and we have to make sure that we are instilling that we’re doing the right thing.” Sullivan says. “The reaction from our fans and sponsors has been positive mostly. There are some that have said we can’t do that, we’re not gonna be able to come back, and we understand completely.”
Sullivan says the tournament created a task force of advisors, from local government and health officials to sponsors and the PGA Tour to create their plans for tournament week. He says they’ll be watching how the PGA Tour events scheduled ahead of the Memorial play out. The PGA Tour returns June 11th at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and the first four events will be staged without fans in attendance. That means the Memorial will be the second tournament on the new schedule to be staged with fans, provided the PGA Tour gives final approval of fans being on-site.
“We will not have massive galleries, we will not have people on top of each other we know that’s irresponsible and we can’t do it.” Sullivan says. “We’re gonna make sure that we produce a golf tournament that is extremely safe, all the plans are in place and we give a limited number of fans the opportunity to be here.”
Volunteers will be issued a Memorial Tournament mask, and if volunteers do not feel safe to attend Sullivan says those people will not lose their place on the volunteer list for future years. Sullivan says every person who comes to the golf course will have their temperature taken and sanitizers will be placed frequently across the property.
Sullivan says the television broadcasts on Golf Channel and CBS will also look much different. He’s been told to expect a far smaller television crew than usual, meaning fewer cameras in-use. He also says there’s a chance the announce crews may not be on-site at Muirfield Village.
Other events related to the tournament have also been significantly altered. The annual Legends Luncheon which serves as a major fundraiser for Nationwide Childrens Hospital will likely become an online event and will also unfold during tournament week. The annual Fore Miler run, which typically happens the Thursday before tournament week, is likely to still happen in July. It’s unclear whether the race will be run on-site or as a “Virtual” race.