Honda Classic plans to host some fans amid COVID-19

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: PGA: The Honda Classic - Final Round

(Reuters) - The Honda Classic has become the latest PGA Tour event which plans to welcome back a limited number of spectators amid the COVID-19 outbreak, officials for the tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said on Monday.

A decision on how many fans can attend the March 18-21 event at PGA National will be determined at a later date.

"We are being conservative in our planning as we continue to navigate the pandemic," Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said in a news release.

"We want to do everything possible to make sure that The Honda Classic will be a great experience and continue to make a significant charitable impact on the thousands of children in our community whose lives we are able to enhance every year."

Last year's Honda Classic was the penultimate PGA Tour event completed before the COVID-19 outbreak forced the circuit to shut down for three months following the first round of The Players Championship last March.

Honda Classic organisers said PGA National's "Bear Trap," which is known as one of the most demanding three-hole stretches in golf, is being re-imagined into three sections with limited seating in socially-distanced blocks of two and four seats.

Spectators allowed on the course will be required to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing.

"While attendance records will not be broken in 2021, tournament officials are building a unique and first-class fan experience, provided in a safe and responsible manner," the tournament statement said.

Last October's Bermuda Championship was the first PGA Tour event to allow spectators on site since The Players Championship while last November's Houston Open was the circuit's first tournament in the United States to welcome back fans.

Next month's Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona, reportedly plans to host a limited number of fans, while the March 11-14 Players Championship also said recently it hopes to have spectators on site.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)