PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide to be Held Without Spectators
With support of Nationwide and local government, officials cancel plans to be among first professional sports leagues with fan attendance; decision made out of an abundance of caution, as focus heightens on player experience and television presentation
Dublin, Ohio and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – The PGA TOUR and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced today that despite a robust health and safety plan and State of Ohio approval for limited patron attendance, the world-renowned event founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus will instead be held without fans on site and with no pro-am, due to the rapidly changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news comes as many of the world’s best players arrive at Muirfield Village Golf Club for an unprecedented two-week swing at the “Course that Jack Built” — the Workday Charity Open this week, followed by the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, with the 45th edition of the Tournament being staged July 14-19.
“We applaud the leadership, diligence and partnership it took from Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sullivan, the entire Memorial Tournament staff and State, County and City leadership to build a solid plan that would allow for limited fan attendance at next week’s event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “But given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our Return to Golf — the health and safety of all involved. While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right. In the meantime, we have no doubt that the Memorial Tournament will once again be an incredible championship and deliver the best competitive environment for our players and utmost entertainment to our fans around the world.”
After Ohio Governor Mike DeWine approved in mid-June a phased approach to allowing on-site fans and guests, Memorial Tournament officials announced several elements of their COVID-19 activation protocols designed to allow for a 20 percent maximum capacity on property, encompassing patrons and private venues, as well as essential staff needed to operate the Tournament
“The Memorial Tournament team, led by Dan Sullivan, worked exhaustively on a plan that the Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, as well as other local, county and state leaders were comfortable with, confident in, and applauded,” Nicklaus said. “We had a good plan in place, and I could not be more proud of everyone who contributed to it. In the end, we have the responsibility to recognize the health and safety of the players and all who attend the Memorial Tournament is paramount. We, in partnership with Nationwide and the PGA TOUR, will now focus on presenting the best-possible Memorial Tournament we can for the players and for the many fans watching at home and around the world on Golf Channel and CBS.”
Nationwide, which has been the Tournament sponsor for 10 years, has been both supportive and instrumental throughout the planning process, since the Memorial date change in March in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s adjusted tournament schedule.
“We understand and support the decision to have this year’s Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide without spectators,” said Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Kirt Walker. “Although we can’t be there in person, we wish the players a great two weeks at Muirfield Village Golf Club and we look forward to supporting them on course, with fans, in the future.”
Executive Director Dan Sullivan had emphasized for weeks the need for all involved to remain flexible and understanding, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to evolve nationwide and in the State of Ohio.
“While we embraced the opportunity to be the first PGA TOUR event to welcome the return of on-site fans — and be a part of our nation’s collective reemergence from the COVID-19 crisis — we recognize the current increase in positive COVID-19 cases across the country and our ultimate responsibility,” said Sullivan. “We will host the 45th Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide without patrons on-site and encourage all fans of the Memorial and the PGA TOUR to follow the competition through our collective social media channels and our broadcast partners. It’s disappointing to the many who have tirelessly worked to create a plan for on-site patrons, but I’m confident the learnings from these efforts will contribute to golf’s continued success, and we’re excited to showcase Muirfield Village Golf Club — and ultimately, the Memorial Tournament — to our fans over the next two weeks.”
“The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and the PGA TOUR have made the right decision in not allowing spectators to attend this year,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “I know it was a difficult decision to make, but the organizers of the Memorial Tournament have put the health and safety of players and fans first.”
For more information about the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, please visit thememorialtournament.com. For the latest news and updates on social media, follow the tournament
on Twitter and Instagram at @MemorialGolf and on Facebook at Facebook.com/theMemorialTournament.
Tournament access plan will be determined prior to event
Dublin, Ohio – Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced today that the 45th edition of the world-renowned event founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus has been rescheduled as a result of the ongoing health crisis related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In conjunction with today’s PGA TOUR adjusted tournament schedule announcement, the 2020 Memorial Tournament will now be contested the week of July 13-19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club and feature an increased field from 120 to 144 players. The invitational’s one-time expanded field size allowance will provide additional playing opportunities for touring professionals in light of the TOUR’s reduced schedule.
“This is an unprecedented time in our world, as well as the world of sports,” said Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “I can’t emphasize enough the message related to doing your part by social distancing and helping our nation and world by slowing this pandemic. But while we all need to come together and be strong, we also need to be understanding and flexible. When the PGA TOUR was looking at how and when to revamp the golf calendar, the Memorial Tournament was quick to raise its hand and step up, and offer support for a new date. Like all of you, I was saddened to see tournaments and major championships postponed, and The Open Championship cancelled for 2020. But we appreciate the PGA TOUR giving the Memorial Tournament the opportunity to fill that void in the schedule with these July dates and to bring golf to Central Ohio. We were also happy to expand our field, as so many players around the world have lost opportunities to make a living. If a gesture so small can help some of them recoup their losses, we are all for it.”
“This has been a couple months we would soon like to forget, but hopefully we can make this a summer to remember.”
Recognizing Governor DeWine’s Ohio Stay at Home order and public gatherings ban guidelines currently in place, the Memorial will proceed with an understanding that its operation may require alterations. The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will continue to offer patron badges, enhanced with a special offer that includes honoring original presale badge rates – starting at $185 for a weekly patron badge – and a complimentary $20 merchandise card (limit one per order, per household) redeemable at all on-site golf shops during Tournament week. However, the Tournament will also monitor the State of Ohio COVID-19 regulations and will employ changes relative to patron access if needed. If it is determined that the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will be staged without patrons, a full refund policy will be implemented.
“All associated with the Memorial Tournament are encouraged to be able to reschedule the event for the week of July 13th,” said Dan Sullivan, the Tournament’s executive director. “Although many unknowns remain, we are hopeful the next few months provide an opportunity for everyone to return to a level of normalcy and central Ohioans will be able to publicly come together. The health and safety of everyone associated with the Memorial Tournament and the Greater Columbus community is and will continue to be the No. 1 priority for the Memorial, our presenting sponsor Nationwide and the PGA TOUR, as we navigate this ongoing and very fluid situation. We understand the concerns regarding large public gatherings as it relates to COVID-19, and it is important to stress as we prepare for the 2020 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, that we are working closely with the PGA TOUR and local medical professionals, while continuing to follow the advice and recommendations of Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton as well as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. We are focused on offering an environment that includes allowing patrons and guests, yet we remain committed to a responsible, thoughtful and transparent decision-making process via regular updates as we continue to monitor the progress of COVID-19 and consider a number of options for the Tournament moving forward.”
As always, we encourage our fans to stay informed on the developments of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 through official sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov) and coronavirus.ohio.gov/.
For more information about the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, please visitthememorialtournament.com. For the latest news and updates on social media, follow the tournament
on Twitter and Instagram at @MemorialGolf and on Facebook at Facebook.com/theMemorialTournament.
The public may call the Tournament Ticket Office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 877-MT BADGE (877-682-2343) or visitwww.memorialbadges.com to purchase badges. Kids 18 and under can attend the Tournament for free with a ticketed adult.
About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020
Thomas P. Sprouse
Director of Communications,
the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
Mobile: 614-519-1873 in keeping with safe practices for all those involved.
PGA TOUR partners with Workday to present
the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village Golf Club
July event to be held week before the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – The PGA TOUR has announced that a full-field tournament has been scheduled for July 6-12 at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, through a partnership with Workday, Inc. a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources.
Featuring a 156-player field and $6.2 million purse, the Workday Charity Open will be held without the general public attendance the week prior to the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, filling the week vacated when the 2020 John Deere Classic was cancelled on May 28. Domestically, the event will include Thursday-Friday afternoon coverage and early Saturday-Sunday coverage on Golf Channel, with CBS Sports anchoring the weekend coverage.
“We are extremely pleased to join with Workday and Muirfield Village Golf Club to present this new event as we continue our Return to Golf efforts,” said Andy Pazder, Chief Tournament & Competitions Officer for the PGA TOUR. “Our special thanks go to Workday for partnering with us as title sponsor and for their pledge to make a significant charitable impact with the event. Memorial Tournament host Jack Nicklaus has always done what is best for the game of golf and in these unprecedented times, we are most appreciative of his Muirfield Village Golf Club hosting the event the week prior to the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.”
Charitable impact will be an important aspect of the new event as Workday is committing $1 million in support of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, Workday is donating $500,000 to the Oakland-based Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation founded by three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and entrepreneur, host and The New York Times bestselling author Ayesha Curry.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to bring viewers one of the first live golf events of this truly unprecedented year,” said Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO, Workday. “We’d like to use this moment to not only unify the golf community through this tournament, but to drive awareness and support for these and other notable causes.”
Recognized as one of the country’s top pediatric facilities, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is an important charitable partner to the PGA TOUR. Since its inception, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide has generated more than $22 million in charitable giving to Nationwide Children’s, with over $14 million generated since Nationwide began its partnership with the Memorial in 2011. Through the addition of the Workday Charity Open, Nationwide Children’s will benefit further from the PGA TOUR’s 2-week stop in Dublin.
Eat. Learn. Play. is designed to help ensure an equal road to success for all kids, rooted in three of the most vital pillars for a healthy childhood— nutrition, education and physical activity. Stephen, Ayesha and their partners believe that children are the future, and they are deeply dedicated to empowering them and opening doors for their futures. It is their hope that Eat. Learn. Play. will positively impact children in the Oakland, San Francisco, and Bay Area communities and beyond to live out their dreams.
The Workday Charity Open will be operated by the staffs of Muirfield Village Golf Club, the Memorial Tournament and HNS Sports Group. The new event will lead into the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, one of three elevated events on the PGA TOUR that offers a three-year exemption to its winner and a limited field of 120, to which it will revert back after having been adjusted to 144 with the announcement of the reimagined PGA TOUR schedule on April 16.
The John Deere Classic will return to the PGA TOUR schedule in 2021.
Workday is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Founded in 2005, Workday delivers financial management, human capital management, planning, and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions, and government agencies. Organizations ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 50 enterprises have selected Workday.
About Muirfield Village Golf Club
Muirfield Village Golf Club was the dream and work of Jack Nicklaus. His revolutionary design became the first course in the world, from its inception, that was created with the spectator in mind. Nicklaus’s creative use of “mounds” and “amphitheaters” became a model for tournament courses around the globe. The course was officially dedicated in 1974 and the first Memorial Tournament was played in 1976. In 2013, Muirfield Village Golf Club became the first course in the world to host three of golf’s most prestigious international match-play competitions: Ryder Cup (1987), Solheim Cup (1998) and Presidents Cup (2013).
About PGA TOUR
By showcasing golf’s greatest players, the PGA TOUR engages, inspires and positively impacts our fans, partners and communities worldwide.
The PGA TOUR, headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Series-China. Members on the PGA TOUR represent the world’s best players, hailing from 29 countries and territories (93 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to 212 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations to maximize charitable giving. In 2019, tournaments across all Tours generated a record $204.3 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to more than $3 billion.
Fans can follow the PGA TOUR on PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, on the PGA TOUR app and on social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram (in English, Spanish and Korean, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, Weibo, Toutiao and Douyin.