Director of Ohio golf tournament optimistic for July with new safety measures, limited fans

Sports

Tournament Director Dan Sullivan said they put together a task force of advisors to create a plan that will allow a limited number of fans to safely attend the event

DUBLIN, Ohio (WKBN) – Golf fans are anxious to see the PGA Tour get back in full swing, and the Memorial Tournament may be one of the first to permit fans back on the course this summer.

As of now, tournament officials have constructed a plan to allow some fans in for the tournament, which is scheduled for July 13-19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

“The 2019 Memorial Tournament, with the way we are looking at it, will not be what we create this year,” said Dan Sullivan, tournament director. “We will not have massive galleries; we will not have people on top of each other. That’s irresponsible, and we can’t do it.”

Sullivan said the tournament put together a task force of advisors to create a plan, and with 9 million square feet at their disposal, proper social distancing is possible.

“We’re going to make sure that we produce a golf tournament that is extremely safe,” said Sullivan. “All the protocols will be in place, and we will give a limited number of fans the opportunity to be here.”

Ticket sales are being closely monitored with more details in the coming weeks. The PGA Tour is scheduled to return June 11, without fans for the first four events. As of now, the Memorial would be the second tournament with fans permitted, per the current schedule. But every precaution will be taken from players and fans to the volunteers.

“Their temperature will be taken, like everyone else who comes on this golf course,” said Sullivan. “Sanitizers will be everywhere, and we’ll recognize the six-foot rule.”

There will be no access to the grandstands this year throughout the course, and Sullivan says the television broadcasts will also look much different, with smaller TV crews. Still, if done properly, Sullivan believes it can be a great showcase for Dublin and the state of Ohio during this pandemic.

“We’re going to be able to tell our story outside of Ohio, so this could be a chance for Ohio to say, we’re getting back in the right way,” he said. “Golf is a nice environment to enjoy each other’s company, and we’re going to be able to give back.”

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