Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Coronavirus: Players Championship abandoned after one round

PGA Tour has also stopped all play until the Texas Open in April

The PGA Tour's Players Championship at Sawgrass was cancelled after the first round owing to the coronavirus.

While organisers had planned to play the last three rounds without spectators, a decision was later taken to abandon the tournament, as well as the next three weeks of PGA Tour events until the Valero Texas Open on April 2. The Masters - the first major of 2020 - is due to begin a week later.

"We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavouring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate," the PGA Tour said in a statement.

"But at this point - and as the situation continues to rapidly change - the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause." The event, held at TPC Sawgrass, is not a major championship but is often referenced as 'the fifth major' given its status in the golfing calendar.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama was the first-round leader after a superb nine-under 63, which put him two shots in front of a three-way tie for second.

Graeme McDowell shot a four-under-par 68, while fellow Northern Irishman and defending champion Rory McIlroy carded a 72.

In women's golf, the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year, is among five tournaments to be cancelled.

Updated: March 13, 2020 11:30 AM

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