“While crowds will be smaller than originally planned, we know the passion for golf in the Carolinas will create a memorable atmosphere on-course and excitement throughout the region”
Collin Morikawa will defend his PGA title at Kiawah Island
The PGA Championship in May will be open to 10,000 spectators per day, tournament organisers have confirmed.
The PGA of America has announced plans to accommodate the limited number of fans at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, where Collin Morikawa will defend the Wanamaker Trophy after clinching his maiden major title in San Francisco last August.
“We’re excited to welcome spectators back to the PGA Championship this May in a way that is responsible and aligned with current South Carolina health protocols,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson.
“While we wish we could accommodate the sell-out crowds who had purchased tickets, the 2021 PGA Championship will be steeped in gratitude as the best players in the world compete on the historic Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in 2012
“We’ve staged three unforgettable events at Kiawah Island; the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2007 Senior PGA Championship and the 2012 PGA Championship, and are so excited to pen the next chapter in May.
“While crowds will be smaller than originally planned, we know the passion for golf in the Carolinas will create a memorable atmosphere on-course and excitement throughout the region.”
PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh added: “The present reality, which requires limited spectators on-site will not change our objective, which as always is to deliver yet another compelling PGA Championship.
“The Ocean Course and its wide range of on-course conditions and circumstances will provide the world’s best players with a challenging-but-fair test of golf. Kiawah as a venue has proven to always provide both huge enthusiasm and great theater. We can’t wait to see how the drama will play out yet again this May.”
The news has pre-empted organisers of the remaining three major championships, who have each indicated that spectators will be on site but have not revealed a target attendance.
The Augusta National committee confirmed last month that the Masters will be played in front of “limited patrons”, with the R&A monitoring the situation before committing to ticket sales for The 149th Open in July.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers did, however, insist The Open “will be played this year”, with plans in place to cover all eventualities – including playing the tournament behind closed doors.
The United States Golf Association has not yet stated if fans will be able to attend the US Open in June at Torrey Pines in California, which hosted the Farmers Insurance Open behind closed doors last month.