With the coronavirus (COVID-19) still a growing concern in the U.S. and around the world, the PGA of America stated Tuesday that reports that this year's PGA Championship might shift from TPC Harding Park are "inaccurate."
The virus remains on the rise both domestically and internationally, with multiple sports organizations adjusting plans this week to respond to the public health crisis. The BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in California was cancelled, while Monday the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS all jointly barred media from locker room access on a temporary basis. Teams and leagues are also evaluating options for playing games without fans, and Tuesday the Ivy League cancelled its postseason conference basketball tournament entirely because of the virus.
Caught in the midst of the situation is the PGA Championship, which is scheduled to be played in San Francisco May 14-17. With reports circulating earlier this week that tournament organizers are looking into a potential contingency plan, including the possibility of playing the PGA Championship at TPC Sawgrass, PGA of America officials responded.
"Reports that the 2020 PGA Championship will be relocated from TPC Harding Park are inaccurate," read a PGA of America statement. "At this time, no such discussions have taken place. We continue to carefully monitor this rapidly evolving situation, in close coordination and communication with representatives from San Francisco. We will follow the guidance of state and city officials and public health authorities, keeping the safety and well-being of all involved as our highest priority."
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was asked directly about the potential move during his Tuesday press conference ahead of The Players, and he reiterated that no plans were currently in the works to have two events this year at TPC Sawgrass.
"They (PGA of America officials) are fully planning on proceeding with the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco," Monahan said. "There is no plan at this point in time for the PGA Championship to be held here. It's going to be held at TPC Harding Park."
But Monahan also cited the "extraordinary circumstances" surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, and with sports teams and leagues announcing changes on a seemingly daily basis, he emphasized the need to respond to developments as they happen.
"I would just pledge to you, as we've pledged to everybody else in all of our tournaments week-to-week, that we've really got to listen and respond to the real information that we're receiving on the ground," Monahan said. "It's important for us to present a complete schedule, complete FedExCup schedule this year."