12 Mar 2020

Will The Masters be postponed? What Trump’s travel ban means for the iconic tournament

US President Donald Trump has announced in a televised address that travel from 26 European countries will be suspended for the next 30 days starting from tomorrow (March 13) due to the COVID-19 outbreak. So, what does this mean for the plethora of European stars heading out to the States for next month’s Masters Tournament and WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay?

Currently the ban applies to anyone who has been in the EU’s Schengen border-free area within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US. Twenty-six countries are affected and they are: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths so far. In Europe, Italy is one of the worst affected country’s and has more than 12,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of 827. Elsewhere, Germany has 1,966 confirmed cases, the United Kingdom 460 confirmed cases and Denmark 514 confirmed cases.

How will European-based players travel to the Masters Tournament?

The restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania as they are not part of the Schengen area meaning travel from theses countries should be fine. European-based players could also travel to countries outside of Europe before making their way to the USA.  But this preparation is far from ideal before the one of the biggest tournaments on the golfing calendar.

Many of the European players that play mainly on the PGA Tour including 2019 Race to Dubai and DP World Tour Championship winner Jon Rahm base themselves in America so travel to the tournament won’t be an issue for them.

What has the Masters Tournament said?

The Masters haven’t currently made a statement in response to President Trump’s televised address but they did release the following on March 4th:

“The safety, health and well-being of everyone is our top priority at Augusta National Golf Club,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement. “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 National chairman Fred Ridley continues to review the situation

“We are asking that everyone follow the preventative actions advised by the CDC to mitigate the spread of any virus. In addition, we strongly encourage all those traveling to Augusta, Georgia, to become knowledgeable of the most recent travel protocols and restrictions.”

How have other golf tournaments been affected?

Currently no tournaments on the PGA Tour have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak but European Tour has postponed the Maybank Championship, Volvo China Open, Magical Kenya Open and the Hero Indian Open. European Tour players that aren’t scheduled to play in the WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay will go over a month without playing tournament golf. The last European Tour tournament was the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters which finished on March 8th , with last year’s winner Justin Harding in the field who is set for his second Masters appearance next month after finishing in the top 12 last year to get an automatic entry to the Green Jacket event.

Worldwide Golf will bring you the latest Masters news as soon as we get it on our social media channels.

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