Augusta monitoring virus as Masters nears

Augusta National have confirmed the Masters and Augusta National Women's Amateur will be contested but will monitor the Coronavirus in the lead-up.

Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Picture: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Augusta National has confirmed the Masters will go ahead as planned but will monitor the Coronavirus outbreak in the US during the lead-up to the prestigious April major.

On Wednesday, the 11th death linked to the Coronavirus was recorded in the US.

Masters chairman Fred Ridley issued a statement on Wednesday, detailing the club was working with health authorities.

He confirmed the 84th edition of the Masters and second Augusta National Women's Amateur will both be contested in mid-April.

An estimated 210,000 fans attend the Masters each year across the three practice rounds and four tournament rounds.

Even more fans pile into Augusta, Georgia to be close to the atmosphere of the first major of the year.

"Augusta National is not only monitoring the situation closely, but also consulting with relevant experts, including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Public Health and local authorities," Ridley said in a statement.

"As a result of this collaboration, and based upon our knowledge of the situation at this time, we are proceeding as scheduled for the Augusta National Women's Amateur, the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals and the Masters Tournament.

"We will continue to review the available facts and information with the experts and authorities, establish precautions and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all involved."

Augusta's statement was applauded by Australian stars Jason Day and Marc Leishman.

Leishman and Day will contest the Masters alongside countrymen Adam Scott and Cameron Smith, as well as Australian amateur Lukas Michel.

"It's a relief; around the world everyone is concerned about the virus but it's great Augusta are taking the right precautions for the safety of not only the players but everyone who will walk on the grounds that week," Day told AAP.

Leishman added: "You have to put people's health first, but everyone wants to play the Masters and I'm sure the men and the women for the amateur event welcomes this news."

Leishman and Day will contest this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida.

Both are winners of the Palmer event, while Scott and Matt Jones are also in the field.


AAP