President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the United States will be banning all travel from Europe into the country for 30 days in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Ireland and the UK are the two exceptions. Although this may not seem to affect American sports at first glance, it may actually cause drastic changes to the biggest golf tournament all season: The Masters.
The Masters is scheduled to begin on April 9, 28 days into the 30-day travel ban. This could cause serious logistical issues for European players attempting to fly to Augusta, Ga. in early April. Those professional golfers in Europe this week will be at a significant disadvantage to even make it to Augusta National on time this year.
How will European players make it to The Masters?
The European travel ban restricts anyone from entering the U.S. from every European country besides Ireland and the UK. Any professional from popular golf countries such as England and Italy wouldn’t be allowed to fly from their home countries to America. There are loopholes these players currently in Europe could exploit if they plan ahead, though.
The easiest way for players in Europe to make it to Augusta National is for President Trump to grant them special exemptions. Although unlikely, this measure could streamline the process.
A more sensible solution would be for players to travel to Ireland or the UK first before flying to the U.S. They could also fly to Canada or Mexico before entering America.
Augusta National is considering banning patrons from The Masters
News broke Thursday that Augusta National could limit or ban patrons from attending the 2020 Masters. The coronavirus has affected so many sports worldwide, and the PGA Tour is now taking its precautions.
As of now, The Masters will still be played as scheduled. However, that could change in the coming weeks as more information about the coronavirus surfaces.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan already announced golf tournaments will proceed as scheduled but without fans for the next three weeks.
Will the 2020 Masters be postponed or canceled?
It’s possible The Masters gets pushed back this year like many other sporting events have done. Although this wouldn’t be ideal for most of the golf world, it would help those players in Europe. Pushing the tournament back a few weeks would allow them to easily travel to the U.S. after the travel ban is lifted.
With how quickly the coronavirus is spreading across the country, nothing is off the table. The NBA, NHL, and possibly NCAA will all suspend play starting this week. The PGA Tour could do the same as we approach golf’s greatest weekend at Augusta National.
Whatever the PGA Tour decides, players in Europe are just hoping to make it to The Masters this year in light of the recent European travel ban.