Golf: U.S. Open to be held without spectators due to COVID-19 pandemic

A general view of a golf ball on the 18th hole at a golf course, March 12, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The U.S. Open scheduled to be played at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York from Sept. 17-20 will be held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Open is the second major that will not have spectators after organisers confirmed last month that next week’s PGA Championship in San Francisco, California would go ahead without fans.

Both majors were scheduled to be held in May and June before the pandemic forced the tournaments to be rescheduled.

“Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” USGA CEO Mike Davis said in a statement.

“We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens.”

The United States leads the world with over 4.3 million confirmed cases and nearly 150,000 deaths due to the novel coronavirus, according to a Reuters tally.

Westchester County, where Winged Foot Golf Club is located, has recorded nearly 36,000 cases and over 1,400 deaths.

The PGA Tour said this month that it would play the rest of its season without fans.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond