March 4, 2020 / 9:27 PM / 24 days ago

Masters 'proceeding as scheduled', monitoring coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Golf - Masters - Augusta National Golf Club - Augusta, Georgia, U.S. - April 14, 2019 - Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates on the 18th hole after winning the 2019 Masters. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Masters will proceed as scheduled next month and precautions will be established to ensure the safety of everyone at the year’s first major following the coronavirus outbreak, Augusta National Golf Club said on Wednesday.

People from all over the world attend the Masters, which this year will be held April 9-12, and Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said after consulting with relevant health experts the show will go on.

“As a result of this collaboration, and based upon our knowledge of the situation at this time, we are proceeding as scheduled,” Ridley said in a news release.

“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.”

Tiger Woods is the defending Masters champion after snapping an 11-year wait for his 15th major title when he came from behind to win by one shot last April.

Ridley said Augusta National is monitoring the coronavirus situation closely and asked anyone attending the Masters follow the preventative actions advised by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention to mitigate the spread of any virus.

Along with the Masters, Ridley said the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (April 1-4) and three-pronged junior skills competition known as the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals (April 5) will go ahead as scheduled.

The coronavirus, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has spread around the world, with more new cases now appearing outside China than inside.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond

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