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Before making an official announcement to postpone the Masters, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley discussed the matter with a certain six-time Masters champion.
“I think they made a wise decision, and I support it,” Nicklaus said Friday during an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
“I don’t think anybody wants to go to Augusta and get sick. There’s people coming from all over the world and the chances of people bringing something are great.”
As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continued to spread in the U.S. and across the globe, Ridley said in a statement: “Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.”
While Ridley didn’t specify a particular time on the golf calendar, many speculated that the Masters could be played in the fall, most likely shortly after the course, which typically closes in late May, reopens in October.
“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,” Justin Thomas told GolfChannel.com.
Nicklaus, though, isn’t counting on this year’s Masters being rescheduled.
“In all practicality, they are postponing, but I can’t see any way they would play it at a later date,” Nicklaus said. “How in the world could they work it into the schedule? It wouldn’t be fair to any other tournament that are later. I think we are probably going to miss the Masters this year, that’s just my opinion, but I think it makes logical sense.”