BERMUDA (CBS) — When the PGA Tour shut down the Players Championship in March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep the globe, nobody knew when fans would return to watch golf at the highest level. It’s safe to say, though, that nobody had the Bermuda Championship in late October as the target date.
However, it appears that after a false start with potential spectators at the Memorial Tournament earlier this summer and no fans at any events since the PGA Tour restarted in early June, the Bermuda Championship will in fact be the site where fans return on the PGA Tour, albeit in a limited capacity.
The PGA Tour and the Bermuda Government have jointly granted permission for a limited number of general admission spectators per day for the second annual event at Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, October 26–November 1. The daily allowance, whose number will be determined under the island’s public-gatherings regulations, follows a review by Bermuda’s health authorities and means Bermuda residents as well as visitors will be able to attend the event in person.
Other tours, including the PGA Tour Champions, have already admitted fans, but the PGA Tour and other organizations that run the highest level of championship golf — such as the PGA of America and USGA — have yet to host an event with spectators in attendance.
Interestingly, the 2020 Masters will take place just after the Bermuda Championship in November, and it will not permit patrons to attend. The Houston Open also follows the Bermuda Championship before the Masters will take place. There are two other PGA Tour events — the RSM Classic and Mayakoba Golf Classic — between the Masters and the start of 2021.
A large chunk of the PGA Tour’s revenue comes from the attendance of spectators as well as weekly pro-ams, both of which have been absent since the PGA Tour restarted in early June. Pro-ams started back last week at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, and it seems as if spectators — and the revenue they produce — will follow shortly thereafter in Bermuda.
There is no indication that any other professional events on the PGA Tour will permit fans in 2020.