Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, hugs his caddie Shota Hayafuji after winning the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A steady diet of limited fans on PGA Tour though end of May

A steady diet of limited fans on PGA Tour though end of May

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The roars returned to Masters. At least two of them.

There were enough spectators, believed to be roughly 8,000 a day, to at least bring some sound back to the gorgeous scenery of Augusta National in April. And they stood six-deep over the final 100 yards of the 18th green — masks on — as Hideki Matsuyama walked up the hill to a one-shot victory.

Missing was that head-turning volume, a brief burst of cheers that made spectators look around and try to figure out where it came from and what they were missing.

One of those roars was for Tommy Fleetwood making a hole-in-one on the 16th hole in the opening round. The loudest of the week was for Corey Conners making his ace on the sixth hole Saturday.

But it was progress, and that goes for the rest of golf.

Spectators in limited numbers returned this year at the Phoenix Open — compared with other years in Phoenix, that would be very limited — and have been a part of PGA Tour events ever since the tour left California.

The next test is not so much who has spectators, but how many? And the most questions surround the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, the first week in June.

The tournament posted on its website efforts to plan for “as safe of an experience as possible” and that it will decide while consulting with local and state governments and the tour.

The tournament said it has temporarily suspended badge sales to best manage the ticketing process. Fans are asked to sign up on a wait list and they will be contacted “should additional badges become available.”

The Memorial last year had a detailed plan for spectators that had been approved by the state until it was decided 10 days before the start of the tournament there would be none. A small grandstand by the 18th hole and some concession structures were still up during the tournament.

At least some spectators would be expected everywhere else on the upcoming tour schedule. The RBC Heritage this week has allowed 20% capacity at Hilton Head.

That will be followed by the Zurich Classic in Avondale, Louisiana (up to 10,000 a day), the Valspar Championship in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area (20-30% capacity), the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina (maximum 30% capacity), the AT&T Bryon Nelson in Dallas (10,000 a day), the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina (10,000 a day) and the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas (10,000 a day).

“It’s funny to think that 10,000 is going to feel like a lot of people, but after the year we just went through, it’s going to feel like it,” Jon Drago, the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament director, told The Dallas Morning News.

Colonial last year was the first event back from the pandemic. Hilton Head moved to June and the PGA Championship went from May to August. The rest of them between now and Memorial were cancelled.

SILVER TO GREEN

Hideki Matsuyama became only seventh player to go from winning a silver cup as low amateur at the Masters to a green jacket as the Masters champion.

The others were Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus and Cary Middlecoff.

The shortest turnaround was Woods, who was low amateur in 1995 and won in 1997. The longest stretch was Mickelson, who was low amateur in 1991 and won his first green jacket in 2004.

PGA

Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read