The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters has become the latest top sports event to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement released this afternoon, as the whole of Spain is in an unprecedented shutdown, the European Tour said the event, which had been scheduled for 30 April to 3 May at Royal Valderrama Club in Sotogrande (at the western end of the Costa del Sol) had been postponed “due to the ongoing threat posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19)”.
According to the Tour, the decision was made in consultation with tournament stakeholders – the Junta de Andalucía (regional government), Royal Valderrama, Sergio Garcia Foundation (which hosts the tournament) and title sponsor Estrella Damm – “in light of travel restrictions in Spain.
Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at a later date.”
“We are deeply concerned by the current developments related to coronavirus,” said Valderrama CEO Javier Reviriego, “and we believe postponing the event is the best decision. We will work jointly with the European Tour and our sponsors to find a new date in the calendar to host this fantastic golf tournament. All of us at Valderrama look forward to hosting players and fans when we put this exceptional situation behind us.”
Added European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, “We are all taking a day-by-day approach at the moment and we continue to assess the impact of coronavirus on all our events, but following discussions with all parties involved it was clear that postponing the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation at this point is the correct course of action. Public health and well-being remains the absolute priority for all of us.”
Message from European Tour Chief Executive
Yesterday, the Tour released a message from Keith Pelley providing an update on the global situation in relation to coronavirus and its effect on the tournament schedule.
“First and foremost, I would like to offer our sincerest best wishes to you and all those around you from everyone at the European Tour during these difficult times.
“As important as golf is to all of us, public health and well-being is the absolute priority. That will remain the case as we continue to monitor this rapidly evolving global pandemic over the coming weeks, working with the World Health Organisation and each national government and their public health agencies to ensure we have the latest advice to inform all our decision-making.
“So far, seven tournaments (now eight) on our 2020 international schedule have been postponed or cancelled. Due to the current ongoing uncertainty, we are suspending ticket and hospitality sales for all 2020 European Tour promoted events until further notice. This is a temporary measure but one we feel is proportionate in the current circumstances.”