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Posted March 12, 2020 10:03 pm |

PGA Tour cancels The Players Championship, other tournaments leading up to Masters

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    Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, studies his shot on the 12th green, during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The PGA Tour decided Thursday night to scrap the rest of The Players Championship and shut down its other tournaments for the next three weeks.

Commissioner Jay Monahan had said earlier Thursday there would be no fans at the TPC Sawgrass for the final three rounds, or at the next three tournaments on the PGA Tour schedule.

The tour changed its mind late Thursday.

“We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event through the weekend,” the tour said in a statement. “But at his point — and as the situation continues to rapidly change — the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”

There was no immediate word whether The Players Championship would be rescheduled.

The Players Championship is the premier tournament run by the PGA Tour, offering a $15 million purse, the richest in golf history. It was to be followed by the Valspar Championship in the Tampa Bay area, the Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas, and the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

The Masters is the following week, scheduled to begin April 9. Monahan has been in contact with Augusta National Golf Club officials but during a press conference Thursday would not disclose any contingency plans discussed.